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Senate passes Music Modernization Act

The Senate has passed the Music Modernization Act, legislation aiming to help songwriters be paid fair market value for their work.

The bill that passed unanimously with support from 82 co-sponsors, now heads to the House of Representatives for a final vote before landing on President Trump's desk for his signature.

“With the passage of the Music Modernization Act (MMA), American songwriters now have a chance to be fairly compensated for their work when it is used on streaming services," Steve Bogard, president of the Nashville Songwriters Association International, said. "My fellow songwriters and I have suffered a devastating loss of income as streaming has become the dominant form of music consumption, because the laws governing our royalties have not kept pace with technology."

The current legislation pushes to edit any outdated songwriter royalty standards and develop a new licensing system in hopes of making it easier for digital music companies to obtain a license for songs.

“Not only have laws governing songwriter royalties not kept up with the arrival of the internet, they have not been modernized since the days of the player piano a century ago. As a result, it has become impossible for most songwriters to make a decent living,” Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) said. “Our legislation will help make sure songwriters are paid when their songs are played, and that they are paid a fair market value for their work."


TIMELINE:

May 10, 2018: Senators Alexander and Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) introduce the Music Modernization Act in the Senate.

June 28, 2018: Senate Judiciary Committee unanimously approves the legislation.

September 18, 2018: The Senate passes the Music Modernization Act.

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