You may have seen in the past few weeks your favorite artists and songwriters posting on social media about The Music Modernization Act or MMA for short. As fans first, we must take the time to understand why this change in government and push to support our songwriters is so important. The songwriters that create the songs that you danced to at your prom, listened to on your way to your first semester in college, fell in love to, tailgate to during the summer and ultimately dance your first dance at your wedding to, are finding it nearly impossible to make a living now that digital streaming has become so popular.
Outlets like Spotify and Pandora were not the first digital outlets, remember Napster or Limewire? The availability to download music for free has essentially taken away the livelihood of songwriters. While an artist can tour the country, make money from ticket sales and merchandise, the writers who sit in the rooms in Nashville, New York, L.A., and all over the country pouring out their souls for a good song are not reaping any of the benefits from touring. The Music Modernization Act is here to change that.
This act that songwriters have fought so hard to bring to the Senate will improve greatly how songwriters are paid by the streaming companies in this digital age. The music industry and community have been fighting for years to negotiate a new bill that will replace legislation that has been in place since 1908, we can safely say that things have changed and it’s time for an update. The act passed the US House of Representatives and is now up for vote in the Senate.
A big issue currently plaguing the act as it heads to its vote is an amendment that a performing rights organization or PRO, SESAC, owned by Blackstone Group is trying to infringe. Writers, artists, fans, publishers, and managers are all asking that they withdraw this amendment and pass the act as is. Let’s hope that The Music Modernization Act is passed and that songwriters can continue to make a living writing the soundtracks to our lives.
What can you do to help? As fans, head to our Instagram and repost this image with the caption: “I am a fan and I support the #musicmodernizationact as is! @sesac & @blackstone, withdraw your amendment!” Then send to your family and friends to help support our favorite musicians!
**UPDATE: As of 8/2 The National Music Publishers’ Association (NMPA), the Nashville Songwriters Association International (NSAI), the Songwriters of North America (SONA), and SESAC have agreed to work together to support fully the Music Modernization Act. Now they together request that the Senate pass the MMA.**
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