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SENATE PASSES MUSIC MODERNIZATION ACT

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SENATE PASSES MUSIC MODERNIZATION ACT

The following memo was provided by Curtis LeGeyt of the NAB on September 19, 2018:

 

Good morning. I am pleased to let you all know that last night the Senate passed the newly named Orrin G. Hatch Music Modernization Act (MMA) by unanimous voice vote. As you will recall, the MMA includes significant reforms relating to songwriter compensation by on-demand streaming services, payments to pre-1972 recording artists, and royalty shares for music producers. The MMA now heads to the House of Representatives (that had previously passed its version of the legislation by a 415-0 vote) where we expect it to be taken up as soon as next week, passed, and sent to the President’s desk for signature.

 

As reflected in Gordon’s press statement (below), NAB fully supports the MMA after the continued inclusion of a provision that establishes an enhanced oversight role for Congress in any DOJ review of the ASCAP and BMI consent decrees. Given recent activity around this issue at DOJ, NAB advocated heavily for this oversight provision and negotiated with key Congressional offices and other stakeholders for its inclusion during the Senate Judiciary Committee’s consideration of the legislation.  

 

While nothing in this legislation will ultimately prevent DOJ from undertaking any action relating to these consent decrees, this legislation ensures a clear oversight role for Congress in that review and provides a substantial hook in the event that we need to generate Congressional pressure as DOJ’s process moves forward. 

 

Additionally, this legislation preserves an agreement reached between NAB, ASCAP and BMI earlier this year that limits the application of unfavorable changes to the ASCAP and BMI rate court evidentiary rules to pureplay streaming services, but not terrestrial broadcasts or simulcasts.

 

Finally (and most importantly), this legislation - which is the culmination of the years long copyright review that began in 2014 in the House Judiciary Committee - includes no new performance royalty on local broadcasters. 

 

We will keep you updated on developments as this process moves forward over the next week. 

Thanks,

Curtis

  


From: NAB Communications <communications@nab.org>
Sent: Tuesday, September 18, 2018 7:10 PM
To: LeGeyt, Curtis
Subject: NAB Statement on Senate Passage of Orrin G. Hatch Music Modernization Act

 

 

 


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 

September 18, 2018

Dennis Wharton
202-429-5350
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NAB STATEMENT ON SENATE PASSAGE OF
ORRIN G. HATCH MUSIC MODERNIZATION ACT

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Senate has just passed the Orrin G. Hatch Music Modernization Act (MMA), joining the House of Representatives in unanimously approving the first reform of music copyright law in decades. Because the bills are not identical, the bill now goes back to the House for approval, and then to the White House for President Trump's expected signature.

The MMA includes language that will formally establish a role for Congress as the Department of Justice reviews consent decrees with the two largest performing rights organizations — ASCAP and BMI — which collectively license over 90% of the musical works that are played on local radio and television stations. The following statement can be attributed to NAB President and CEO Gordon Smith:

"NAB applauds Senate passage of the Orrin G. Hatch Music Modernization Act. Naming this critical legislation after Senator Hatch is a fitting tribute to his tireless efforts to improve the lives of songwriters. NAB appreciates the hard work of Senators Hatch, Whitehouse, Alexander and Coons, Chairman Grassley and Ranking Member Feinstein in producing a compromise bill that will benefit songwriters, legacy recording artists, producers, digital streaming services, and music listeners.

"We are particularly supportive of a provision added to the Senate bill ensuring enhanced congressional review of any DOJ changes to ASCAP and BMI consent decrees. These decrees are essential to a functioning music marketplace, and any action to terminate them will now be preceded by appropriate Congressional oversight to protect the interests of songwriters, licensees, and consumers of music."

About NAB
The National Association of Broadcasters is the premier advocacy association for America's broadcasters. NAB advances radio and television interests in legislative, regulatory and public affairs. Through advocacy, education and innovation, NAB enables broadcasters to best serve their communities, strengthen their businesses and seize new opportunities in the digital age. Learn more atwww.nab.org.

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