It’s not often you can get politicians from either side of the aisle to agree on anything. This makes the Music Modernization Act something of a miracle. All 100 state senators sponsored this bill.
The bill addresses the patchwork of copyright laws that dictate the use of music. The bill is tailored for digital streaming services such as Spotify or Pandora. It’s been hailed as a rare win-win for creators and music publishers. So, what does it try to do, exactly?
Reshaping music licensing
The main goal of the Music Modernization Act is to make it easier for publishers (such as Spotify) to pay for the music they want to license. Currently, there is not a clear-cut process for identifying a music copyright holder. Companies are responsible for finding the original copyright holder and paying them.
The original copyright can be transferred or sold, making it difficult to track down. This leads to artists not getting compensated and companies facing non-payment lawsuits.
The new bill creates a standardized system for song copyrights. It would make it easier for companies to compensate the right parties. Companies would also be able to better choose the music they wanted to use. Both sides, artists and companies, view this as a much more organized and fair system.
How it affects artists
A streamlined process to compensate artists easily and efficiently will help creators get paid. Making payment easier for companies means more artists will see compensation for their works. This is obviously a good thing for artists, whose music may have been used without their knowledge in the past.
The hope is that this new system leads to money going to the right sources in order to use music. The act tries to give better compensation for those who have earned it. The fact that 100 senators believe that it’s a step in the right direction can only be seen as a positive for both sides.
The importance of copyright
Artists need to protect their creative works, which is why copyrights are so important. If you have complex issues around music copyrights or other works, skilled representation can help.
An attorney skilled in copyright and intellectual property can untangle complicated copyright disputes.