Like Countable?

Install the App
TRY NOW

Trump Signs Landmark Music Bill Into Law

by Countable | Updated on 10.11.18

What’s the story?

  • President Donald Trump signed the Music Modernization Act (MMA) into law at a ceremony at the White House on Thursday, joined by Kid Rock, Sam Moore of Sam & Dave, country singer John Rich, and the Doobie Brothers’ Jeff “Skunk” Baxter.
  • The Orrin G. Hatch-Bob Goodlatte Music Modernization Act will update several provisions of U.S. copyright law regarding music licensing to reflect how digital music services operate while ensuring that royalties can be collected on pre-1972 recordings and by creative professionals. 
  • The package is meant to streamline how songwriters are paid in the era of digital music.
  • “You like this legislation or do you hate it?” Trump asked Kid Rock during the signing. “I like it,” replied Kid Rock.
“Everybody knows this business of music is a very dirty business,” Rock said after the signing. “There’s a lot more that needs to be done here. We need to go after the record labels next, and things like free goods. But this is a great start to protect songwriters, producers, engineers—the unsung heroes behind many of these songs that go out there. People like myself who are maybe more at the top of the food chain, it really doesn’t affect as much. But I know many people it does affect.”

What will the Music Modernization Act do?

  • As NPR summarized, “the bill will establish a public database of compositions, who owns those compositions, who wrote them and who administers them.”
  • The database will be run by the to-be-established Music Licensing Collective (potentially known as SongExchange, a sister to currently-established SoundExchange), which will be populated by representatives from the major publishing companies and songwriters.

What other bills are included in this music omnibus?

  • Allocation for Music Producers: creates a way for producers and engineers to receive direct payments from music databases when recordings are used on satellite radio and online radio services like Pandora.
  • Compensating Legacy Artists for their Songs, Service, and Important Contributions to Society (CLASSICS): requires digital services to pay both rights holders and artists for the use of recordings made before 1972. (Currently, digital broadcasters like Sirius XM do not pay royalties on songs recorded prior to 1972.)
  • Songwriter Equity Act: Allows judges on the Copyright Royalty Board to consider market conditions when setting its rates. It will also allow courts to consider relevant benchmark deals.
  • "Three-quarters of a songwriter's income is regulated by the federal government," National Music Publishers Assn. president David Israelite explained earlier this year.
“While most property rights are valued in a free market, songwriters have suffered under a system that devalues their work and takes away their most basic property rights...if songwriters' royalties must be regulated, they should at least be based on fair market value." 

Who supported the bill?

  • Put on your Focus Playlist for this one. Supporters include: the Internet Association, SAG-AFTRA and AFM, the National Music Publishers Association, the Recording Industry Association of America, the Recording Academy, Nashville Songwriters Association International, ASCAP and BMI, C3, A2IM, Songwriters Guild of America, Songwriters of North America, SoundExchange, and the Digital Media Association and its member companies Pandora, Spotify, and Amazon. 

What do you think?

Do you use any streaming music services? Are you a songwriter? Do you support the Music Modernization Act? Is there anything missing from the legislation? Take action and tell your reps, then share your thoughts below.

—Josh Herman

(Photo Credit: iStockphoto.com / yipengge)

Countable

Written by Countable

Leave a comment
(48)
  • Mark
    Voted Support
    10/11/2018
    ···

    WELL I’ll be damned! #45 ACTUALLY did something good. Even though the HASN’T FIGURED OUT THAT HE’S NOT A STAR Kid Schlock was present it’s still a good Law

    Like (17)
    Follow
    Share
  • Phil
    Voted Oppose
    10/11/2018
    ···

    More regulatory capture from big business. Just modernising the cartel structure & toolbox.

    Like (4)
    Follow
    Share
  • Paul
    10/12/2018
    ···

    This seems to be a decent regulation, but I would feel more sure of that if it didn't have the names of two Neanderthals on it. Still, Emperor Donald appears to have done one thing right, proving that a broken clock is right at least twice a day.

    Like
    Follow
    Share
  • Laura
    Voted Support
    10/11/2018
    ···

    Copyright Laws have not been updated not only to keep up with technology, but with the changes in the administration of the music industry. I had about 3 Copyright Law classes during my undergrad, and they had obscure ways of divvying up the payments of royalties. These funds went mainly to the Label, R&R, publishers, and management. The songwriters and musicians only received minor percentages. So, this Bill appears to pay royalties to those that deserve them, the songwriters and the musicians. It’s also nice to see that the Audio Engineers will receive royalty payments as well. At least, I hope so!

    Like (16)
    Follow
    Share
  • Tyler
    Voted Support
    10/11/2018
    ···

    Makes sense, it’s just hilarious that Orrin Hatch’s name is attached to the music bill

    Like (15)
    Follow
    Share
  • Doug
    Voted Support
    10/11/2018
    ···

    I’m not a big Trump fan, but this is great, get the useless dirty crap out of the music industry, next we can go after all the pedophiles in the tv/movie markets!!!

    Like (14)
    Follow
    Share
  • Christopher
    Voted Support
    10/11/2018
    ···

    Seems fairly straight forward on the surface. Let’s see how it does long range and collect that data. This seems honestly bi-partisan. It could help reestablish a music industry. Let’s see.

    Like (10)
    Follow
    Share
  • Lynne
    Voted Support
    10/11/2018
    ···

    Must be October. Election coming

    Like (10)
    Follow
    Share
  • wildprogressive
    Voted Support
    10/11/2018
    ···

    I'm honestly still picking my jaw up off the ground after reading that Trump seems to have passed one decent piece of legislation that protects intellectual property rights for artists.

    Like (8)
    Follow
    Share
  • Caren
    Voted Support
    10/11/2018
    ···

    Songwriters and singers have a right to make a living at what they do. Those who would take an unfair advantage by bootlegging music, etc., should be ashamed of themselves.

    Like (6)
    Follow
    Share
  • SneakyPete
    Voted Support
    10/11/2018
    ···

    👍🏻 Music Modernization Act (MMA) 👍🏻 Thanks President Trump ..... We really do need a lot of the many SICK 😷 & DIRTY music/ videos in my opinion, that we are seeing & hearing, off the public airwaves. 10*11*18 ..... SneakyPete .....

    Like (6)
    Follow
    Share
  • Joshua
    Voted Support
    10/11/2018
    ···

    Surprisingly, not terrible. It's unusual for changes in US IP laws to be anything but awful. This one seems to serve individuals rather than corporations.

    Like (5)
    Follow
    Share
  • Jay
    Voted Support
    10/12/2018
    ···

    Pretty simple. Artists need to get paid for their work of any such occurrence of it.

    Like (3)
    Follow
    Share
  • I.Got.an.Idea...
    Voted Support
    10/12/2018
    ···

    Great and interesting. This has to be a political move, because Republicans believe if you obtain something unethically, or illegally, “it is just business”.. Republicans believe they are entitled to other people’s success and will do what they can to take that wealth from them. I’m glad artists and songwriters and musicians will benefit from Republican’s smoke and mirrors shenanigans. Please do not let this one good act, cloud your judgement and vote Republican, because you are in the music industry or love to support the industry, because Liberals have been fighting to protect musicians, including fighting to fund music and the arts in schools, in which Republicans have been trying to defund and basically outlaw.

    Like (3)
    Follow
    Share
  • SneakyPete
    Voted Support
    10/11/2018
    ···

    Thanks President Trump ..... We really need a lot of some of the SICK 😷 DIRTY in my opinion, off the public airwaves. 10*11*18 ..... SneakyPete .....

    Like (3)
    Follow
    Share
  • Sharon
    Voted Support
    10/11/2018
    ···

    It takes everyone to get the job done. If you think someone should be working for you for free, you dont deserve the privilege of working. Greed will eat YOU not the people who are doing an honest days work. You see where Donald Trump and The Trump Crime Family are headed! 😁😁😁😁😁😁😁😁😁😁😁😁😁

    Like (2)
    Follow
    Share
  • Jillian
    Voted Support
    10/12/2018
    ···

    We need to evolve our laws to reflect the realities of modern business issues

    Like (1)
    Follow
    Share
  • Mavericks
    Voted Support
    10/11/2018
    ···

    I thought trump was evil. Hold on a minute.

    Like (1)
    Follow
    Share
  • Shortfuse
    Voted Support
    10/11/2018
    ···

    This is just good common sense.

    Like (1)
    Follow
    Share
  • Jonathan
    Voted Support
    10/12/2018
    ···

    Looks like Trump passed a law that is not that bad.

    Like (1)
    Follow
    Share
  • MAGAnificent
    Voted Support
    10/12/2018
    ···

    Music to my ears

    Like (1)
    Follow
    Share