×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Internet Giants Endorse Music Licensing Legislation (EXCLUSIVE)

WASHINGTON — The trade association representing Google, Facebook, Pandora, and Spotify said it is backing proposed legislation to streamline music licensing.

The endorsement of the bill by the Internet Association removes a big hurdle, as previous efforts have gotten tangled in the past by the opposition of burgeoning music streaming services.

Michael Beckerman, the president and CEO of the Internet Association, said with their support, the legislation “now has the backing of the entire music community. This bill builds on the internet innovations driving growth in the music industry to modernize music licensing laws.” He said the 40 members of the organization were “fully committed” to advancing the legislation.

On Wednesday, a group of senators introduced the Music Modernization Act, with the intent of updating music licensing laws to make it easier for songwriters to get paid when their music is streamed or purchased online. The bill is similar to one introduced in the House.

The Music Modernization Act updates music licensing laws to make it easier for songwriters to get paid when their music is streamed or purchased online. Songwriters have been seeking legislative changes for years, pointing out that they have not been receiving fair market value for their works on digital platforms like Spotify and Pandora.

The IA said the current music licensing system is cumbersome, as licenses must be obtained song by song, made even more complicated because a work may have multiple writers. The bill would create a blanket licensing system with a central clearinghouse and administration.

The IA’s complete letter to the bill’s initial sponsors is here.

Other changes in the bill include:

  • In a new standard, mechanical royalty rates will be based on what a willing buyer and a willing seller would negotiate in a free market.
  • Rate courts will be able to consider sound recording performance royalty rates when determining musical work performance royalties for digital services.
  • ASCAP and BMI are now subject to the same two judges presiding over the rate courts that decide songwriter compensation. Under the legislation, each new rate-setting case would be randomly assigned to a federal judge consistent with other federal litigation.

More Politics

  • Roger Stone (L), longtime advisor to

    Judge Places Gag Order on Roger Stone Case

    WASHINGTON — A federal judge imposed a gag order on Roger Stone’s legal proceedings that places some limitations on what he, his lawyers, and other parties say about the case. Stone, a longtime associate of President Donald Trump, was arrested last month after special counsel Robert Mueller brought charges that he misled the House Intelligence Committee [...]

  • Donald Trump

    Trump Declares National Emergency Because of ‘Invasion’ at Border

    WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump has declared a national emergency to secure funding to build a physical barrier along the U.S.-Mexico border, a move that is certain to provoke a constitutional legal challenge. In a speech at the Rose Garden at the White House, Trump said, “we are talking about an invasion of our country.” [...]

  • Democratic Debates

    NBC-MSNBC-Telemundo and CNN Land First Two Democratic Debates

    WASHINGTON — NBC, MSNBC, and Telemundo will air the first Democratic primary debate in June, and CNN will show the second event in July, the Democratic National Committee announced on Thursday. The DNC is planning 12 presidential primary debates over the 2020 cycle, but news networks had been vying for the rights to air the [...]

  • Donald Trump

    Trump to Declare National Emergency to Build Border Wall, Mitch McConnell Says

    UPDATED WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump has indicated that he will sign a spending bill to keep the government open, but also plans to issue an emergency declaration to build a wall or physical barrier along the U.S.-Mexico border, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said on Thursday. “I’ve just had an opportunity to speak with [...]

  • William Barr

    Senate Confirms William Barr as Attorney General

    WASHINGTON — The Senate confirmed William Barr to be the next attorney general, as his nomination survived Democratic opposition related to concerns over his independence from the Trump White House. He was confirmed by a vote of 54-45. Democrats Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona, Doug Jones of Alabama and Joe Manchin of West Virginia voted for [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content