House Introduces Comprehensive Music Licensing Reform Legislation - SoundExchange

House Introduces Comprehensive Music Licensing Reform Legislation

April 10, 2018

House Introduces Comprehensive Music Licensing Reform Legislation

Apr 10, 2018

SoundExchange Urges Support of New Music Modernization Act

WASHINGTON, D.C. – April 10, 2018 – House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-VA), Ranking Member Jerry Nadler (D-NY) and 28 original cosponsors today introduced sweeping bipartisan legislation to overhaul the nation’s antiquated music licensing laws, including providing federal copyright protection for sound recordings made prior to February 15, 1972.

The Music Modernization Act (H.R. 5447) is consensus legislation that packages together several music licensing reform bills that have wide-ranging bipartisan support. The package includes the CLASSICS Act, the AMP Act, elements of the previously introduced Music Modernization Act and the rate standard parity provisions from the Fair Play Fair Pay Act. The legislation comes after a comprehensive review of copyright law in the Committee during Goodlatte’s chairmanship.

The new Music Modernization Act contains many important changes in music licensing laws including:

The bill also includes the language of the original Music Modernization Act, including the creation of a single licensing entity to administer mechanical rights for musical works.

“We applaud Chairman Goodlatte and Ranking Member Nadler for their willingness to address many of the ancient inequities in our copyright laws that stand between music creators and fair compensation,” SoundExchange President and CEO Michael Huppe said. “We urge the House Judiciary Committee to move swiftly in its consideration of this comprehensive music licensing reform package. Music creators have waited long enough.”

Inclusion of the CLASSICS Act (H.R.3301/S.2393) in the new reform package represents a major victory for legacy artists. It’s been 46 years since Congress decided to leave sound recordings made before February 15, 1972, under a patchwork of state laws, rather than providing federal copyright protection to those sound recordings.

“This legislation is moving forward because Congress has heard the voices of music creators asking for copyright laws that reflect the realities of today’s music marketplace. The modernization outlined in this bill is long overdue, and with the momentum created by its introduction, it’s critical that music creators continue reaching out to their representative to urge swift consideration of this legislation,” Huppe said.


SoundExchange contact:
Sophia Majlessi / 202-696-1832 /
Josh Goldman / 202-559-0558 /