This bill — the Music Modernization Act — would 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. A summary of its three sections (the Music Modernization Act, the CLASSICS Act, and the AMP Act) can be found below.
Music Modernization Act
This section would establish a music licensing collective to license musical copyrights, collect and distribute royalties from digital music providers. It would also maintain a public database of compositions, their owners, who wrote them, and who administers them. The costs of maintaining the new non-profit collective would be paid for through royalties from licensees.
The Copyright Royalty Board would use uniform rate setting standards for all music services which would be established by proceedings in which copyright holders and licensees negotiate a rate schedule, which would be in effect until a successor schedule is agreed by the parties.
This section would require the payment of royalties to both rights holders and artists for the use of their recordings which were made before 1972. Currently, digital broadcasters don’t pay royalties on songs recorded prior to 1972.
Its full title is the Compensating Legacy Artists for their Songs, Service, and Important Contributions to Society (CLASSICS) Act.
This section would enable record producers, sound engineers, and other creative professionals to receive compensation for their work when their recordings are used on satellite and online radio services.
Its full title is the Allocation for Music Producers (AMP) Act.