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Bill Modernizes Licensing Between Music and Streaming Services

The music industry scored a major victory last week with the help of the current administration, when President Trump signed a long-awaited bill called The Music Modernization Act (H.R. 1551) on Thursday, October 11th, 2018.

Surrounded by well know musicians, president Trump updated the intersection of Intellectual Property, streaming services, and music, reforming the licensing landscape and finalizing landmark reform to the United States copyright law.

This new bill adapts the law to the digital streaming era and counted with wide, bi-partisan support from Washington’s lawmakers.

The Music Modernization Act offers:

1.-The creation of an organization called Mechanical Licensing Collective (MLC) which will oversee the licensing database and ensure that copyright owners are paid when their creations are streamed on digital services such as Apple Music, Amazon, Spotify, Sound Cloud, Pandora, etc.  This collective will be able to grant blanket mechanical licenses for interactive streaming or digital downloads of musical works.

2.-Closes a loophole in the previous law and now forces streaming services to pay royalties for songs released before 1972.

3.-Creates a uniform royalties payment process for music producers.

The intended result is to create a music market that provides fair competition and fair pay for musicians and producers encouraging the collaboration between the digital services and the music creators.

“It is important to review the laws and practices in view of technological advances that affect existing business and revenue models for companies and artists”, said Intellectual Property and business attorney Marcos E. Garciaacosta.

It is interesting to note that the Music Modernization Act mentions for the first time the word “producers,” codifying their presence in the industry.

If you have questions about these and other intellectual property law issues such trademarks and copyrights, schedule an appointment with attorney Garciaacosta at (480) 324-6378.

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