House unanimously passes Music Royalty reform act

The NAB likes this proposed law as it retains the feature that over the air radio does not pay royalties to the performers.

SoundExchange likes the law because it is based on their model for music that is streamed, which means the musicians love it.

As a bonus, it clears up the legal ambiguity of music from 1972 and before, asserting retroactive Federal jurisdiction. There is really no such thing as intrastate music, so this is where the responsibility belongs.

Another bonus is that producers and engineers will now get a sliver of the royalty pie.

ASCAP supports the law without a clear reason beyond their members want it

BMI, which started as the radio industry’s failed attempt in the 1930/40s to crush ASCAP, is interestingly silent.

The new framework is reported to be market based rather than a “one size fits all” rate structure decided by a panel of threee administrative law judges within the Library of Congress.

Copyright Royalty Board

So with three of the biggest radio businesses either gone or in bankruotcy, who is going to fund this new pile of money? I wonder if the Cumulus and Iheart / Clear Channel bankruptcy were the catalyst for this sudden resolution of a decade old fight…

SiriusXM opposes the bill although there is no press release yet.

On to the Senate and President Trump.

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5 Responses to House unanimously passes Music Royalty reform act

  1. CC1s121LrBGT says:

    Thanks for sharing that. If you hadn’t, we might have never known. The press has been silent… they like to sneak in anything that extends intellectual property rights but do not want any controversy regarding the extensions.

    The real battle is similar to “sales” tax. As discussed, “sales” tax has morphed into “purchase” tax so that it is no longer based on the location of the seller but of the buyer and the local laws regarding the buyer’s location. The same fight is raging with music.

    Most Canadian over-the-air music stations steam worldwide to any location but one – the United States of America. They Geoblock only IP addresses from the United States and do it because they don’t have the resources to fight American lawyers in American courts. Each of them has received a threatening letter from the United States to sue them in United States courts.

  2. Parrott says:

    Hmmm if everyone is for the new rules/ laws, and it’s ‘win /win, who loses ?
    Someone is getting hammered somewhere on this.
    Radio stations that stream ? are they the bad dudes in all this ?

    CC: I never understood why we can’t get canadian music here. I liked the radio stations on PEI when I was up there. I guess we should send letters to ‘algore’, : )
    algore supposedly won a ‘piece prize’ for a power-point presentation,


    • CC1s121LrBGT says:

      The easiest solution is to download the free extension called Tuxler for your Chrome browser. Pick Canada from the drop-down list of countries and then all the Canadian web pages will stream for you.

      Turn it off before doing any online banking in your Chrome browser. In fact, I’d recommend rebooting your Chrome browser entirely or using a different brand browser for online banking if you use Truxler.

    • TheChairman says:

      Newer artists lose, and perhaps consumers as well. Same old song and dance by music big wigs & lobbyists.

      A quote from DMN adds clarity: “The Music Modernization Act is being met with howls of protest, specifically for erasing billions in unpaid mechanical licensing liabilities for streaming giants like Spotify and Apple Music.”

      i.e. BILLION$ in stolen royalties… much of it owed to 2nd tier artists who have neither the money nor legal ability to pursue Apple, BMI, etc.

      As a producer from 1996-03, I met many young (naive) music artists desperate to ‘give’ music away (to Napster, et-al). I’d ask them: how did they expect to earn a living in ‘the biz’ without licensing their recordings? They seemed to ‘feel’ the money would just flow via mutual goodwill, or were content to get their music onto the internet; chub in a shark tank. Labels, A&R’s, and exec producers cannot bankroll such altruism. When I was their age, I had few illusions about the (cut-throat) music biz in the 1980’s. Now, in 2018, it seems monetization and greed have reached new heights… with mediocre ‘talent’.

  3. Fred Stiening says:

    Nothing has yet happened in the Senate beyond referral to Committee

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