Last night The House passed the modified version of the Music Modernization Act, it received from the Senate, after that body approved the Act last week. All that’s left for it to become law is a presidential signature.
The MMA includes language that will formally establish a role for Congress as the Department of Justice reviews consent decrees with the two largest performing rights organizations — ASCAP and BMI — which collectively license over 90% of the musical works that are played on local radio and television stations.
The NAB’s Gordon Smith reacted this way to the latest news. “This critical legislation will benefit songwriters, legacy recording artists, producers, digital streaming services, and music listeners. The MMA is the culmination of a years-long process to find consensus solutions to music licensing problems. We are particularly supportive of a provision in this legislation that ensures an enhanced congressional review of any DOJ changes to the ASCAP and BMI consent decrees. These decrees are essential to a functioning music marketplace, and any action to terminate them will now be preceded by appropriate Congressional oversight to protect the interests of songwriters, licensees, and consumers of music.”
BMI President and CEO Mike O’Neill said, “We are now one step away from enacting comprehensive copyright reform that will benefit American music creators for generations to come, while simplifying the licensing process for music streaming services. We would like to thank our music industry partners, the diverse businesses that utilize music, the bipartisan legislators, and the highly engaged, passionate community of songwriters and composers, all of whom together championed this bill to protect the future of music in our nation. We hope to be able to celebrate the final passage of this historic bill into law in the near future.”