The House of Representatives today approved the Hatch-Goodlatte Music Modernization Act (H.R. 1551), bipartisan legislation that updates several key provisions of U.S. copyright law regarding music licensing. This consensus legislation is a product of the House Judiciary Committee’s comprehensive copyright review and was introduced by House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.), Ranking Member Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.), Courts, Intellectual Property, and the Internet Subcommittee Vice Chairman Doug Collins (R-Ga.), Representative Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.), Courts, Intellectual Property, and the Internet Subcommittee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), Courts, Intellectual Property, and the Internet Subcommittee Ranking Member Hank Johnson (D-Ga.), former House Judiciary Committee Chairman and current Science, Space, and Technology Committee Chairman Lamar Smith (R-Texas), and Representative Ted Deutch (D-Fla.).
Chairman Goodlatte and Ranking Member Nadler applauded today’s vote in the statements below.
Chairman Goodlatte: “Today’s House passage of the bipartisan Hatch-Goodlatte Music Modernization Act is a major victory for American music creators, music distributors, and the music listening public. This legislation, which modernizes our music copyright laws so music creators are fairly compensated for their works, finally brings our music laws into the digital age.
“I appreciate the hard work of the many House and Senate Judiciary Committee Members who came together on this legislative package. Music has such an immense impact on all of our daily lives and with this important legislation headed to the President’s desk, we will help ensure the sustainability of the evolving American music industry for decades to come.”
Ranking Member Nadler: “I am proud that the Music Modernization Act will now head to the President’s desk. This bill will update the law to better serve both creators and digital music providers. Virtually all of the major industry stakeholders came together to support this bill. I am particularly pleased that this bill includes several measures included in the Fair Play Fair Pay Act, which I introduced the last two Congresses. Under the leadership of Chairman Goodlatte, we have joined together on a bipartisan basis to modernize the music licensing system. We have seized this historic opportunity to resolve some longstanding inequities in the music marketplace by helping digital services more efficiently license and distribute musical works, while ensuring artists, songwriters, and other music creators receive fair market value for their work.”
Key Provisions of the Hatch-Goodlatte Music Modernization Act include:
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 that performers who recorded songs before 1972 can finally be paid for their works (currently, only performers who recorded songs after 1972 are paid for their works)
Title III -- Allocation for Music Producers (AMP) Act
- Ensures that record producers, sound engineers, and other creative professionals receive compensation for their work