Sorry streaming giants, time to make way for the Music Modernization Act

The Music Modernization Act passed through Congress unanimously as the bill is expected to come into law sometime this week.


September 26, 2018

After months of negotiations, a new bill aimed at disrupting the music industry is expected to become law this week, Axios reports.

Streaming revenues continue to grow as more people pay for Spotify and Apple Music, but up until (hopefully) now, music right-holders have seen very little of that tickle-cash.

The Music Modernization Act (MMA) will update copyright laws established prior to WWI to give tune creators their cut of the revenue pie that music streaming companies have been hoarding.

Time to get musicians paid again

The act will establish a Mechanical Licensing Collective to maintain a public database of relevant information on songwriters’ work — leaving tech giants no excuse not to pay up.

In a rare occurrence, the bill received support from both sides of the aisle through its whole legislative run. It was approved by the House in April, and last week it cleared the Senate unanimously — now, it’s on to the White House.

Things are hopeful, but not everyone’s into it

After the bill was first proposed in December 2017, it took several months of “small tweaks” to reach an agreement.

While Spotify ultimately agreed to the terms after haggling over legal immunity for streaming platforms (it’s facing lawsuits from several songwriters), SiriusXM continues to protest the bill.

After speaking out, over 150 artists (including the likes of Sir Paul McCartney) issued a letter threatening to boycott the network if the law doesn’t pass.

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