The Trump administration  and the U.S. Congress recently signed the Music Modernization Act (MMA) into law, officially passing one of the most broadly requested reforms to copyright law since 2010. The changes Section 115 of the U.S. Copyright Act attempting to bring copyright law in line with the era of streaming. The U.S. Copyright Office is a part of the U.S. Library of Congress that maintains records of all of the copyright registrations while maintaining a historical catalog. It is used by copyright title searchers who are attempting to clear a chain of title for copyrighted material. The 2018 Music Modernization Act, is designed to streamline the music licensing process in the hopes of making it easier for rights holders to get paid when their content or music is streamed on the internet.

As you may have heard many times before, the importance of obtaining and managing your copyrights is essential. It is very important to immediately get into the registered databases that establish the ownership of your content to the public. If you are the writer and publisher of any of the projects music, register it for copyright through the U.S. Copyright Office. If you are the writer and publisher of any original compositions, join one of the performing rights societies - ASCAP®BMI®, or SESAC®, and provide them with clearance forms for each music composition to be included on every new project.

For pieces on a music album that are not written or published by you, obtain mechanical licenses directly from the copyright holders. This involves contacting the Harry Fox® agency or going directly to each copyright holder that may not be affiliated with the Harry Fox® agency for mechanical/compulsory  rights. Compulsory licenses allow an individual or group to release a new sound recording of a musical composition, if that composition has been previously distributed to the public by the registered copyright owner. There is no requirement for the new recording be identical to the previous work. Compulsory licenses includes the privilege of rearranging the composition into the new recording artist's style.

It's important to remember that categorically, there are several different compulsory license clauses in U.S. copyright law that include provisions for non-dramatic musical compositions, public broadcasting, retransmission by cable systems, subscription digital audio transmission and non-subscription digital audio transmission such as Internet radio.

the Music Modernization Act (MMA) also has newly-added provisions and changes that allow for the availability of blanket licenses in some instances and the allocation for music producers to receive royalty payouts for their recordings that are played on internet radio. Additional provisions include the compensation of legacy artists for their songs and important contributions for pre-1972 recordings.

Creators, authors, artists, musicians, broadcasters, and digital services providers will certainly be watching the performing rights societies very closely to see if this legislation will improve the process of getting paid for the explosion of popular media content, on the internet and in brick-and mortar.

Written by Staff

June 4-7 2019

Cannes FR

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