What is the Music Modernization Act?
Towards the end of 2017, the Music Modernization Act was introduced in the House of Representatives in an effort to update the way music is mechanically licensed. The representatives who sponsored the bill aim to create a board that would manage the mechanical licensing system. In addition, the bill wants to make changes to the way copyright royalty rates are determined. The change would make it so instead of using a legal standard, the Copyright Royalty Board would use a system that determines market value based on the rate at which buyers are willing to buy and sellers are willing to sell.
In addition, the court would have to assign judges to each case randomly, in an effort to break away from having the same judges rule on cases of this variety so they can come in a fresh opinion. Court judges would also not be permitted to consider sound recording royalty rates when making decisions about music publishing royalty rates. Some of the concerns that groups opposed to the bill have included that local radio and TV broadcasters may not be able to afford the increased costs.
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