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Business News (more headlines) 01-13-2018

Licensing Reform Legislation Wins Unified Support Of Key Music Leaders

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Prominent music organizations representing U.S. music publishers, record labels, songwriters, composers, artists and performance rights organizations (PROs) today formally announced their united support for key pieces of pending music legislation.

The National Music Publishers' Association (NMPA), The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), the American Association of Independent Music (A2IM), the Recording Academy, the Nashville Songwriters Association International (NSAI), the Songwriters of North America (SONA), The American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers (ASCAP), Broadcast Music Inc. (BMI), the Production Music Association (PMA), the Church Music Publishers Association (CMPA), the Music Publishers Association (MPA), the Council of Music Creators (CMC), the Society of Composers and Lyricists (SCL), MusicAnswers, the American Federation of Musicians (AFM), SAG-AFTRA, the Association of Independent Music Publishers (AIMP), SoundExchange, SX Works, the Administrators of Gospel Music (AGM), the Content Creators Coalition and the Music Managers Forum U.S. officially endorsed:

The Music Modernization Act of 2017
The CLASSICS Act
The AMP Act
A market-based rate standard for artists from satellite radio

The organizations also strongly support successfully resolving the lack of a terrestrial performance right to provide fair compensation for sound recordings. Music community leaders say it is essential to work together and support related reforms, especially now that Congress is expected to consider and advance legislation in 2018.

The Music Modernization Act would be the most significant update to music copyright law in over a generation and represents unprecedented compromise across all aspects of the music industry. The bill reforms Section 115 of the U.S. Copyright Act to create a single licensing entity that administers the mechanical reproduction rights for all digital uses of musical compositions like those used in interactive streaming models offered by Apple, Spotify, Amazon, Pandora, Google and others. It also repeals Section 114(i) and, consistent with most federal litigation, utilizes random assignment of judges to decide ASCAP and BMI rate-setting cases two provisions that will enable fairer outcomes for songwriters and composers.

The CLASSICS Act (Compensating Legacy Artists for their Songs, Service, & Important Contributions to Society Act) would benefit artists and music creators who recorded music before 1972 by establishing royalty payments whenever their music is played on digital radio. SoundExchange would distribute royalties for pre-'72 recordings played by Internet, cable and satellite radio services just as it does for post-'72 recordings. Currently only sound recordings made after 1972 receive payments from digital radio services under federal law.

The AMP Act (Allocation for Music Producers Act) for the first time adds producers and engineers, who play an indispensable role in the creation of sound recordings, to U.S. copyright law. The bill codifies into law the producer's right to collect digital royalties and provides a consistent, permanent process for studio professionals to receive royalties for their contributions to the creation of music.

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