The Music Modernization Act (MMA) is now law, and this monumental new statute will directly and almost immediately affect songwriters in today's streaming world. Yesterday President Donald Trump signed the legislation into law.

Steve Bogard. Bogard has written 10 No. 1 songs and is President of the Nashville Songwriters Association International (NSAI).

“We have worked on elements of this legislation for 15 years. With the passage of this law, every professional songwriter in America, including myself, who has suffered devastating economic losses in the era of digital music delivery, can now breathe a sigh of relief and be optimistic about the future of our profession. Along with the songs that bear my name, this is my proudest career accomplishment.”

According to a press release, songwriters WILL see an immediate 44% mechanical royalty increase beginning in January 2019 from the previous Copyright Royalty Board trial where NSAI and the National Music Publishers Assn. represented American songwriters and won the largest mechanical royalty increase in history. The increase will phase in over a five-year period.

THE MMA:

  • Changes the standard by which songwriter streaming rates are established replacing an outdated 1909 law that governs songwriter mechanical or sales royalties, changes consent decree regulations from 1941 that govern songwriter performance royalties.
  • Requires the random selection of judges when performing rights societies ASCAP or BMI go to a rate court proceeding. Presently those judges are appointed for life.
  • Creates a new Music Licensing Collective governed by songwriters and music publishers to oversee and administer digital mechanical licensing and payments, resolve disputes and administer unclaimed royalties.
  • Eliminates the disastrous Notice of Intent (NOI) program administered by the U.S. Copyright Office that shifted the digital mechanical licensing burden back to songwriters.
  • Guarantees streaming royalty payments to artists whose recordings were done before 1972 who now are not required to be paid due to a loophole in the Copyright Act.
  • Stipulates direct streaming royalty payments to record producers and engineers.