'Songwriters need and deserve this bill': Music Modernisation Act compromise reached

'Songwriters need and deserve this bill': Music Modernisation Act compromise reached

The Music Modernisation Act is back on track after a last-minute wobble.

SESAC had been wrangling over provisions in the bill for a single mechanical rights entity to oversee administration of online rights, but a compromise has been reached on the reform of the music licensing process.

The National Music Publishers’ Association (NMPA), the Nashville Songwriters Association International (NSAI), the Songwriters of North America (SONA), and SESAC announced they have agreed to work together to support the bill.

The Mechanical Licensing Collective will now only collect income from digital services and not public performance royalties, which are jointly administered by ASCAP, GMR, SESAC and BMI.

NMPA president & CEO David Israelite said: “We are thrilled that we have mutually agreed on a path forward. We are stronger when our music family speaks with one voice and this agreement will allow us to come together to work towards the passage of the MMA. Songwriters need and deserve this bill. We thank the Senators involved for their leadership and guidance.”  

SESAC chairman & CEO John Josephson added: “SESAC has been fighting for songwriters since 1931 and continues to do so with its enthusiastic support of the MMA. At the encouragement of Senators closely involved in this legislation, all parties came together to agree on outstanding items related to the MMA including the reform of the Section 115 compulsory license and other important related matters. We share a collective responsibility to help ensure that the MMA benefits all stakeholders in the industry and look forward to the Senate’s consideration of the bill.”

Responding to the latest developments, ASCAP CEO Elizabeth Matthews said: “After working so hard for so long to update our music licensing laws, we must keep working together to keep the Music Modernization Act moving forward. All parties have had to give and take in order to achieve this consensus legislation that has so far seen widespread, bipartisan support and would help update music licensing laws to improve the future for music creators. We hope the Senate will pass it without delay.” 

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