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News Music Modernization Act Unanimously Passes US House of Representatives

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Music Modernization Act Unanimously Passes US House of Representatives

Industry leaders were quick to weigh in, celebrating the legislative victory.

The Music Modernization Act was unanimously passed by the U.S. House of Representatives Wednesday (April 25), with 415 voting in favor and 16 representatives not voting. With this passing, it now goes to the Senate for a vote before it can become the law of the land.

The bill, HR 5477, enjoys broad bipartisan support with Republicans accounting for 227 of Wednesday's yea votes in the House and Democrats for 188, suggesting it will likely fare well in the Senate.

The MMA legislation was created by compromise among all interested parties, including digital services, music publishers, songwriters, artists and radio, as well as producers and engineers. It packages together a number of different bills impacting how digital services license music from publishers and how songwriters get paid, extends federal copyright performance rights to master recordings made before 1972 when it comes digital radio play and codifies into law for music producers and engineers' direct payment by SoundExchange for due royalties.

The legislation's most dramatic change is creating a blanket mechanical license and an agency to assign rights and collect royalty payments and performance reports from digital services to assure proper payments to songwriters and publishers. This will be achieved through an envisioned database that marries compositions to recordings with the necessary metadata. Services that use the blanket license can no longer be sued for copyright infringement,