For too long, songwriters have had to work within an outdated system that over-regulates and undervalues their music. The Music Modernization Act of 2017 will help change that.
[Note: the text of this post is reproduced from an email sent out to ASCAP members. You do not have to be an ASCAP member to respond to this request that is supported by all Performing Rights Organizations and other entities involving songwriters and music publishers. You can find the original message here.]
Improved compensation for music creators
ASCAP has long advocated for a more flexible framework that can adapt to the realities of the modern music marketplace. The Music Modernization Act is a bipartisan music reform bill that represents months of compromise and collaboration between stakeholders from the music and tech sectors.
It includes provisions that we hope will ultimately result in compensation for our members that better reflects the true value of your music:
- Rate court reform: replacing a single rate court judge for each PRO with different judges randomly assigned to each rate-setting proceeding (the “wheel” system)
- Removal of Section 114(i) of the Copyright Act: allowing a rate court to consider all relevant evidence when determining songwriter compensation – including the rates that recording artists earn – an ability that is currently prohibited by law.
The Music Modernization Act of 2017 also includes provisions to reform Section 115 of the Copyright Act to create a single licensing entity that will administer the mechanical reproduction rights for all digital uses of musical compositions like those used in interactive streaming models. This replaces the “bulk NOI” process that often failed to result in payments to songwriters and music publishers with a system that will enable digital music services to find the owners of the music they use.
While no legislation will solve all of our industry challenges, on balance we believe this is a significant step forward for all music creators.
You can help now. Ask Congress to pass the Music Modernization Act today. Click here to sign ASCAP petition.
If you are a member of BMI or SESAC and have received notification from them about a petition regarding the Music Modernization Act of 2017, you are of course welcome to respond to their communication.