Thursday, April 12, 2018

Music Copyright Omnibus Bill Receives Unanimous Vote by House Committee


The Music Modernization ActH.R. 5547 – was passed by a 32-0 vote of the House Judiciary Committee on April 11. This new omnibus reform bill was the subject of my recent blog post, "House Committee Advancing Bill to Modernize Music Copyright." 
As previously noted, the new Music Modernization Act combines three previously introduced bills and would: (1) provide copyright holders of sound recordings made prior to 1972 would receive federal copyright protections for public performances of those recordings via digital audio transmission; (2) set up a process for producers, mixers, and sound engineers to directly receive royalty payments via a collective entity, SoundExchange; and (3) enable more timely and accurate payment of songwriter "mechanical license" royalties and also streamline blanket licenses for digital streaming services. 

The unanimous vote on H.R. 5547 by the House Judiciary Committee reflects the wide base of support for the music copyright reforms contained in the bill. Surely, H.R. 5547 deserves a fast-track vote on the merits by the full House.