Senators rarely agree on anything fully in 2018, but a bill to update licensing and royalty laws passed the Senate by unanimous consent. Much in the same way that a similar bill to update laws around royalties and licensing to account for the reality of streaming music passed in the House of Representatives in April, the Orrin G. Hatch Music Modernization Act had no trouble getting through.
While many other things are happening on Capitol Hill this week, the Senate just passed the landmark #MusicModernizationAct, which @SenAlexander graciously renamed the Orrin G Hatch Music Modernization Act. 🎼 #utpol https://t.co/piTtO2VIyY— Senator Hatch Office (@senorrinhatch) September 18, 2018
The bill combines three separate pieces of legislation: the CLASSICS Act that attempts to ensure artists receive royalties on songs recorded before 1972, the Music Modernization Act which updates licensing laws with regards to streaming, and the AMP Act which sets up a process that allows producers and engineers to collect royalties from SoundExchange when their music is played digitally or on satellite radio.
“As legendary band the Grateful Dead once said in an iconic pre-1972 song, ‘what a long strange trip it’s been.’ It’s been an epic odyssey, and we’re thrilled to almost be at our destination," Recording Industry Association of America President Mitch Glazier said in a press release. “For the modern U.S. Senate to unanimously pass a 185-page bill is a herculean feat, only achievable because of the grit, determination and mobilization of thousands of music creators across the nation. The result is a bill that moves us toward a modern music licensing landscape better founded on fair market rates and fair pay for all."
ASCAP CEO Elizabeth Matthews echoed Glazier's language in her praise of the bill's passing.
"Today’s unanimous passage of the Music Modernization Act in the Senate represents a Herculean industry-wide effort to promote and celebrate songwriters and ensure their right to a sustainable livelihood," Matthews said, according to Variety.
National Music Publishers Association CEO and President David Israelite was equally thrilled with the news.
"The Senate vote marks a true step forward towards fairness for the people at the heart of music who have long been undervalued due to outdated laws," Israelite said in a statement. "This was a long and complex process but ultimately the music industry has come out stronger and more united than ever."
The bill now needs to be reconsidered by the House and then signed by President Trump, The Verge reports.