WASHINGTON D.C. (CelebrityAccess) — In a rare show of bipartisanship on Tuesday, the U.S. Senate voted unanimously to approve the Orrin G. Hatch Music Modernization Act, passing the first sweeping reform of U.S. copyright law in almost a quarter century.
In addition to the full-throated support of elected representatives in both the House and Senate, the bill also received wide support from the industry, with figures such as Paul McCartney and Kay Perry advocating for its passage.
The bill includes a provision to establish a new organization to identify the copyright owners and ensure that they are paid royalties from digital music services such as Spotify and Amazon.
The new organization will be run by publishers and songwriters will remove the burden of identifying rights-holders from content distributors such as streaming services.
The bill also seeks to improve the royalty rates for songwriters by establishing a new legal standard for rate setting and will ensure that songwriters and artists receive royalties on pre-1972 songs. However, a last-minute amendment to the bill delayed the implementation of the new rate-setting standard for several years following a concerted lobbying effort by satellite broadcaster SiriusXM.
The bill will now be returned to the House of Representatives, where it will be reconciled with an earlier version of the bill passed by the House in April and then sent to the President for a signature.
Following the passage of the bill, accolades came pouring in from the industry.
SoundExchange’s Michael Huppe said: “The future of the music industry got brighter today. Creators of music moved one step closer to getting paid more fairly. And industry forces that fought to maintain an unfair and harmful status quo were rebuffed. Now, SoundExchange’s 170,000-member community has just one word for the House of Representatives: Encore.”
“The Music Modernization Act proves what can happen when constructive industry leaders work together towards a greater good. The SoundExchange community joined a historic coalition of artists, labels, songwriters, music publishers, streaming services, performance rights organizations, producers, engineers and unions. The outcome of this collaboration is a law that sets a new framework to guide the future of the music industry. There are still issues regarding creator fairness that we need to address, but today we celebrate a new era of cooperation and progress across the industry.”
NMPA President and CEO David Israelite: “Today is a momentous day for songwriters, artists, composers, producers, engineers and the entire industry that revolves around them. The Senate vote marks a true step forward towards fairness for the people at the heart of music who have long been undervalued due to outdated laws. This was a long and complex process but ultimately the music industry has come out stronger and more united than ever. We commend Senators Orrin Hatch, Lamar Alexander, Chuck Grassley and Senate Leadership for swiftly moving this bill to the floor. Now we anxiously await the House’s final approval of the MMA and seeing it signed into law.”