Music Modernization Act passed by Senate committee

The Senate Judiciary Committee has voted to approve the Music Modernization Act. Unanimous backing from the group means that the overhaul to music licensing and royalties will move ahead for consideration by the full Senate.

The final version of the Music Modernization Act that is progressing through Congress includes three distinct subjects within the contemporary music industry. It would change how mechanical royalties are charged, collected, and distributed to songwriters, including the creation of a single entity to administer the royalties from digital platforms. It would create federal protections for music written before the adoption of national copyright law in 1972. And it would directly pay producers and studio engineers through the SoundExchange royalty system that also covers performers and labels.

The House of Representatives already passed its own version of the bill, which includes all three of those elements, in April. As the Act has progressed, it has been backed with comprehensive support from many key players in the music industry, including artists, labels, trade groups, and streaming services.

Brad Hill