The Music Modernization Act – What is it and why is it so important?

We’ve shared many stories about the Music Modernization Act (MMA) on our news feed and in our weekly copyright updates. This is hand’s down the biggest attempt the US has made at music copyright overhaul in decades. So, what exactly is the MMA and why is it so important?

According to an article in Forbes, the federal government currently regulates about 75% of what songwriters are paid. The MMA is legislation meant to change that. While the bill is very complex, in short, it sets out to pay songwriters fairly for streaming, establish a collective that overlooks where mechanical royalties go and streamline how money is collected.

Digital Music News does a great job of breaking it down into easy-to-digest parts here. The bill passed the US House of Representatives unanimously April 25, and a revised and amended version came out of the Senate Judiciary Committee June 28. The bill was slowed down by an amendment backed by the music company SESAC in July. But, as the congressional session nears its end, there’s a time crunch to pass the legislation through the Senate. If the bill passes a Senate vote, it goes back to the House for a final sign off. For it to pass, all of this will have to happen before the November election. Once there is a new Congress, the process starts over.

Musicians across all genres have voiced support for the MMA’s passage. Names like Adam Levine, Little Big Town, and legends like Smokey Robinson are speaking up in support. Organizations such as ASCAP and the Nashville Songwriters Association International are also speaking up. “It’s a livelihood thing – it’s not just about music, it’s about lives,” Robinson was quoted.

If you want to support the MMA, contact your senator and tell them you support music licensing reform.  This form makes it easy to send your senator a message.

About Christian Copyright Solutions: CCS’s quest is to help churches and Christian ministries “do music right.”  CCS is an expert on church music copyrights and our primary focus is providing licensing and clear educational resources to churches, as well as representation, administration and advocacy for copyright owners. Follow us on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Youtube. The information contained herein is for informational purposes only, and is not legal advice or a substitute for legal counsel.