The Senate is actively considering the bipartisan comprehensive Music Modernization Act (S.2823), the same legislation the House of Representatives passed unanimously in April.
The House vote was an historic legislative victory for all music creators, but now we are facing opposition in the Senate to the provisions of the bill that would finally get rid of the special discounted royalty rates that Congress handed out to just three companies 20 years ago. That decades-old handout has cost music creators more than $1 billion in royalties.
Now is the time to reach out to your Senator to ensure the fair market value “willing buyer, willing seller” rate standard remains part of the Music Modernization Act (S.2823) when it passes in the Senate.
For 20 years, copyright law has applied a fair market value “willing buyer, willing seller” rate standard to determine royalty rates for thousands of digital services when they stream sound recordings under statutory licenses. However, three “grandfathered” services – Music Choice, SiriusXM, and Muzak – have enjoyed below-market rates thanks to a special subsidy provision created for certain “pre-existing” services in 1998. In the cable music market, the “discount” is effectively half of what other services pay for music.
The special subsidy provision and resulting below-market rates for select digital services has created a deeply distorted market and unfair competitive advantage for these three companies. The rate parity provisions in the Music Modernization Act (S.2823) would level the playing field by applying the existing “willing buyer, willing seller” rate standard to all digital services.
Please ask your Senator to stand with music creators and support legislation that gets rid of special interest discounts that pick the pocket of working artists.