Music Modernization Act Passes Unanimously in House

The U.S. House of Representatives passed the Music Modernization Act (H.R. 5447) by a unanimous 415-0 vote.

The legislation is the result of the multi-year copyright review headed by House Judiciary Chairman Goodlatte (R-VA), and combined three previous standalone measures: the Music Modernization Act (H.R. 4706) which addresses issues relating to songwriter/publisher compensation by on demand streaming services; the CLASSICS Act (H.R. 3301) which addresses royalties paid to owners of pre-1972 sound recordings; and the AMP Act (H.R. 881) which addresses royalties paid to music producers.

Importantly, the final version of the bill incorporated the text of an agreement reached earlier this year between National Association of Broadcasters, ASCAP and BMI on provisions related to those PROs’ rate courts, as well as an agreed upon compromise approach to the treatment of pre-1972 sound recordings by digital services. The legislation steers completely clear of the terrestrial performance tax issue, which has been the NAB’s and MAB’s advocacy goal from the outset of this copyright review.