Senators introduce the Music Modernization Act

The Music Modernization Act has been introduced in the Senate. Senators Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) introduced the bill. The legislation to overhaul mechanical licensing reached the House of Representatives in December, and the Senate version follows that bill. The Act would create a collective to manage the licenses for the mechanical licensing in all digital uses of music compositions. It would also set royalties based on free market rates of what willing buyers and sellers would negotiate.

“We’ve been trying for a long time to see if we could get some agreement between the digital music companies, the songwriters and the music publishers to make sure songwriters are paid a royalty for their songs,” Alexander said. “We have thousands of songwriters in the Nashville area. They’re teachers, waiters, Uber drivers, people that are building their careers.”

The Music Modernization Act has received strong support from the music industry. A coalition of several trade groups banded together earlier this month for a joint press release endorsing the Music Modernization Act, the CLASSICS Act, and the AMP Act. All three pieces of legislation focus on increasing the payments and protections for professionals in the industry.

Anna Washenko