House unanimously passes Music Modernization Act

House unanimously passes Music Modernization Act
© Greg Nash

The House unanimously passed legislation aimed at updating music licensing and copyright law Wednesday.

The Music Modernization Act — a bipartisan bill introduced by members of the House Judiciary Committee — reforms the way royalties are collected and reforms the way artists and labels are compensated in the digital age.

Under the new law, an entity would be created to distribute and collect mechanical royalties.

Members on both sides of the aisle praised the law's passage and called on the upper chamber to take action on the legislation.


“Working together, this vote brings music licensing into the 21st century, where it can better serve those it intends to," House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthyKevin Owen McCarthyOvernight Energy: McConnell tees up vote on Green New Deal | Centrist Dems pitch alternative to plan | House Republican likens Green New Deal to genocide | Coca-Cola reveals it uses 3M tons of plastic every year House GOP lawmaker says Green New Deal is like genocide GOP lawmakers: House leaders already jockeying for leadership contests MORE (R-Calif.) said in a statement.

"[Rep.] Doug CollinsDouglas (Doug) Allen CollinsNearly 40 advocacy groups press lawmakers over NSA call records program Trump: Strzok transcript 'devastating' for FBI, DOJ, CIA House Judiciary Republican releases transcript of ex-FBI agent Strzok's testimony MORE (R-Ga.) worked with lawmakers on both sides of the aisle and the music community to make sure that the reforms passed in the overwhelming fashion that it did. I look forward to the Senate acting on this legislation soon."

House Minority Whip Steny HoyerSteny Hamilton HoyerHillicon Valley: Social media faces scrutiny after New Zealand attacks | YouTube removed 'tens of thousands' of shooting videos | DHS chief warns of state-backed cyber threats | House Dems plan April vote on net neutrality House to take up gender pay gap, Violence Against Women Act House Dems plan April vote on net neutrality bill MORE (D-Md.) noted it had been roughly 20 years since music’s legal framework had last been changed.

"I’m glad that the House today passed the Music Modernization Act, which creates a new system for the collection and distribution of streaming royalties and closes the loophole that too often prevented artists who created works before 1972 from receiving due compensation when their songs were distributed digitally," he said.

The bill now heads to the Senate, which will address the legislation next month.