PRESIDENT TRUMP SIGNS MUSIC MODERNIZATION ACT INTO LAW
Amy X. Wang of Rolling Stone reports:
President Trump signed the eagerly anticipated Music Modernization Act into law at a ceremony at the White House on Thursday (October 11th), in the most high-profile event for the music industry in several years. Mike Love and Kid Rock, two of Trump’s most visible supporters in the music community, were at the White House for the signing alongside Sam Moore of Sam & Dave, country singer John Rich and the Doobie Brothers’ Jeff “Skunk” Baxter.
Intended to update music copyright law for the digital era, H.R. 1551 (formally the Orrin G. Hatch-Bob Goodlatte Music Modernization Act) accomplishes three key things: making sure songwriters and artists receive royalties on songs recorded before 1972; allocating royalties for music producers; and updating licensing and royalty rules for streaming services to pay rights-holders in a more streamlined fashion, via a new, independent entity. Under the act, many music creators will have a more reliable way of collecting the money that they’re due.
“You like this legislation or do you hate it?” Trump asked Kid Rock. “I like it,” replied Kid Rock.
“Everybody knows this business of music is a very dirty business,” Rock said after the signing. “There’s a lot more that needs to be done here. We need to go after the record labels next, and things like free goods. But this is a great start to protect songwriters, producers, engineers — the unsung heroes behind many of these songs that go out there. People like myself who are maybe more at the top of the food chain, it really doesn’t affect as much. But I know many people it does affect.” Kanye West is due to meet with Trump at the White House today, but did not appear at the signing ceremony.
The president delivered prepared comments calling the MMA a milestone that would “close loopholes” in copyright law and help music creators get paid. “They were treated very unfairly. They’re not going to be treated unfairly anymore,” Trump added.
Music business leaders reacted to the signing with enthusiasm; see some of the statements below from various groups.
Spotify’s general counsel and vice president of business and legal affairs Horacio Gutierrez, “One of our core missions at Spotify is to enable a million artists to make a good living from what they love: creating and performing music. The Music Modernization Act is a huge step towards making that a reality, modernizing the outdated licensing system to suit the digital world we live in. The MMA will benefit the music community and create a more transparent and streamlined approach to music licensing and payment for artists.”
Read more at Rolling Stone.