Coalition Letter in Support of H.R. 4706, the “Music Modernization Act of 2017”

By at 4 April, 2018, 11:20 am

Dear Members of the House Judiciary Committee:

On behalf of our organizations we write to express our support for a package of
bills that are encompassed in the Music Modernization Act, which will
update copyright law to the benefit of America’s creative community.

The Music Modernization Act of 2017, H. R. 4706, creates a single licensing
entity for all digital compositions. This rationalizes the digital music licensing
process for both streaming entities and creators, so that distribution platforms can
actually find the artists they want and need to compensate. It also raises the
Copyright Royalty Board rate-setting standard to one that will better reflect rates
that would likely result from an unencumbered market negotiation. Currently,
songwriter compensation from digital services is outrageously low.

The MMA also includes the AMP Act, H.R. 881, which creates a process by
which producers and engineers receive compensation for their contributions in
the creative process of finalized sound recordings. By codifying their right to
receive royalties, the bills finally recognize an integral part of music creation.

Under current copyright law, pre-1972 sound recordings are not given federal
copyright protection. As part of the MMA, the CLASSICS Act, H.R. 3301,
creates protections for pre-1972 recordings by making unlicensed digital
transmissions of these recordings illegal, and provides these recordings with the
same licensing rules as later recordings. This brings parity for royalties for pre1972
and later recordings.

The ability to create and disseminate musical works has never been easier than it
is now through digital formats. Creators should be able to use new technologies
to spread their work without worrying about which medium provides the best
compensation. These bills update the compensation process in order to provide
even more incentive and appreciation for the creative process, and finally
acknowledge, in law, the changes that artists and their fans have already

We request your favorable vote on this bill that brings copyright law closer
to the digital realities of music creation and distribution.


Grover Norquist
Americans for Tax Reform

Phil Kerpen
American Commitment

Daniel Schneider
Executive Director
American Conservative Union

Lisa B. Nelson
Chief Executive Officer
American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC)

Jeffrey Mazzella
Center for Individual Freedom

Tom Schatz
Council for Citizens Against Government Waste

Matthew Kandrach
Consumer Action for a Strong Economy

Katie McAuliffe
Executive Director
Digital Liberty

Jason Pye
Vice President of Legislative Affairs

George Landrith
Frontiers of Freedom

Tom Giovanetti
Institute for Policy Innovation (IPI)

Seton Motley
Less Government

Pete Sepp
National Taxpayers Union

Lorenzo Montanari
Executive Director
Property Rights Alliance

Karen Kerrigan
President & CEO
Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council

David Williams
Taxpayers Protection Alliance

Sara Croom
Executive Director
Trade Alliance to Promote Prosperity

News and Media Releases