Last week the National Association of Broadcasters was against the Music Modernization Act. As of Friday, radio’s lobbying organization was onboard after some behind-the-scenes negotiations with ASCAP and BMI. The portion of the Act the NAB objected to was the repeal of section 114(i) of the copyright law, which states that rates paid to record labels for sound recording performances should not be used as a consideration in setting rates for the public performance of musical works. In other words, it would now allow that information to be used as evidence during rate determination trials. The NAB had a problem with that. However, according to several people involved in the negotiations, the repeal is now limited and will not affect radio.
NAB President & CEO Gordon Smith, ASCAP CEO Elizabeth Matthews, and BMI President & CEO Mike O’Neill released this joint statement on Friday. “We are extremely happy to announce that the NAB, ASCAP and BMI have reached an agreement regarding the Music Modernization Act. This agreement resolves NAB’s concerns with the potential introduction of new evidence into the rate-setting process while preserving ASCAP’s and BMI’s ability to seek meaningful compensation from the growing digital music marketplace. Our three organizations have enjoyed a long, unique and successful relationship, and as a result, we were able to work together to find a path forward on this important legislation that is fair to all parties.”