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Nadler Lauds Signing of Hatch-Goodlatte Music Modernization Act Into Law

House Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) today released the following statement after the Orrin G. Hatch-Bob Goodlatte Music Modernization Act (H.R. 1551), bipartisan legislation to update key provisions of U.S. copyright law regarding music licensing, was signed into law.

“The Music Modernization Act provides a critical update to current copyright law to modernize the music licensing system and better serve both creators and digital music providers. This historic legislation assists digital music providers with the licensing and distribution of musical works, while also ensuring artists, songwriters, and other music creators receive fair market value for their work. I applaud Chairman Goodlatte’s leadership in ensuring this was done in a bipartisan fashion and that the legislation included key measures found in the Fair Play Fair Pay Act, which I introduced the last two Congresses.”

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.).

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


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