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H.R. 5447 (115th): Music Modernization Act

H.R. 5447 is designed to significantly update several key provisions of U.S. copyright law regarding music licensing.

Key Provisions of the Music Modernization Act include:[1] Title I – Music Modernization Act

  • Reflects how modern digital music services operate by creating a blanket licensing system to quickly license and pay for musical work copyrights
  • Discourages music litigation that generates legal settlements in favor of simply ensuring that artists and copyright owners are paid in the first place without such litigation
  • Ends the flawed U.S. Copyright Office bulk notice of intent system that allows royalties to not be paid
  • Implements uniform rate setting standards to be used by the Copyright Royalty Board for all music services
  • Shifts the costs of the new licensing collective created by the bill to those who benefit from the collective - the licensees
  • Updates how certain rate court cases are assigned in the Southern District of New York

Title II -- _Compensating Legacy Artists for their Songs, Service, and Important Contributions to Society (CLASSICS) Act _

  • Provides a public performance right for pre-1972 recordings

Title III -- _Allocation for Music Producers (AMP) Act _

  • Ensures that record producers, sound engineers, and other creative professionals receive compensation for their work
Last updated Apr 29, 2018. Source: Republican Policy Committee

The summary below was written by the Congressional Research Service, which is a nonpartisan division of the Library of Congress, and was published on Apr 10, 2018.

Music Modernization Act

This bill makes various changes to copyright law related to sound recordings, including providing protection for sound recordings fixed before February 15, 1972, creating a system for paying royalties to producers and sound engineers, and establishing a statutory blanket license for digital music services. The blanket license allows music services to distribute sound recordings covered by the license without negotiating for the rights for each individual recording, as long as the music service complies with the license's requirements, such as paying the required royalties.