President Trump was recently able to sign the Music Modernization Act (MMA), which is seen as the biggest update to copyright law in decades. It is also a rare bipartisan bill that received unanimous approval in the Senate and the House.
The MMA addresses a number of issues particularly in streaming, which has become a significant potential revenue stream for a growing number of musicians, owners of a song's copyrights and record labels. All three have found it difficult to receive payment from important online streaming services like Spotify, who has been the biggest culprit. Experts are hailing the bill as a long-overdue update.
What the bill does
The bill institutes three big changes. These are:
- It simplifies the process by which the streaming services pay royalties.
- It stipulates payment to the songwriter and performers for songs written before 1972.
- It includes song producers in payment for songs played online or over satellite radio. This is the first time producers are included in a bill of this type.
Protecting the creators, artists and inventors
Protecting intellectual property ensures that creators can be paid for their work. Whether it is inventors, writers, visual artists or musicians (or companies who bought the rights to their work), it is important to ensure that consumers and businesses pay for the products they use.
Law firms focusing on intellectual property can work with copyright holders, including musicians who now have the Music Modernization Act to help enforce their rights so platforms and services pay royalties as they continue to evolve and change.