WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Senate has just 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 for President Trump's expected signature.
The MMA includes language that will formally establish a role for Congress as the Department of Justice reviews consent decrees with the two largest performing rights organizations — ASCAP and BMI — which collectively license over 90% of the musical works that are played on local radio and television stations. The following statement can be attributed to NAB President and CEO Gordon Smith:
"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."
The National Association of Broadcasters is the premier advocacy association for America's broadcasters. NAB advances radio and television interests in legislative, regulatory and public affairs. Through advocacy, education and innovation, NAB enables broadcasters to best serve their communities, strengthen their businesses and seize new opportunities in the digital age. Learn more at www.nab.org.