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Senate Passes Orrin G. Hatch Music Modernization Act


The Senate has passed the Orrin G. Hatch Music Modernization Act (MMA), joining the House of Representatives in unanimously approving the first reform of music copyright law in decades. Because the bills are not identical, the bill now goes back to the House for approval, and then to the White House where President Trump is expected sign. The MMA includes language that will establish a formal role for Congress as the Department of Justice reviews consent decrees with ASCAP and BMI -- the two largest performing rights organizations. Collectively they license over 90% of the musical works that are played on local radio stations.

NAB President/CEO Gordon Smith said, "NAB applauds Senate passage of the Orrin G. Hatch Music Modernization Act. Naming this critical legislation after Senator Hatch is a fitting tribute to his tireless efforts to improve the lives of songwriters. NAB appreciates the hard work of Senators Hatch, Whitehouse, Alexander and Coons, Chairman Grassley and Ranking Member Feinstein in producing a compromise bill that will benefit songwriters, legacy recording artists, producers, digital streaming services, and music listeners.

"We are particularly supportive of a provision added to the Senate bill ensuring enhanced congressional review of any DOJ changes to ASCAP and BMI consent decrees. These decrees are essential to a functioning music marketplace, and any action to terminate them will now be preceded by appropriate Congressional oversight to protect the interests of songwriters, licensees, and consumers of music."

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