Music, Money & Web Wars!
Happy Thanksgiving everyone!!!
2018 is ending with a bang in the music industry.
On October 11th President Trump signed the Music Modernization Act into law (“MMA”). This is groundbreaking legislation that finally allows songwriters and music publishers to get their fair share of monies earned from the digital distribution of music compositions.…
The new law does this in 3 ways:
1. It creates a Mechanical Licensing Collective (“MLC”) that will grant blanket mechanical licenses to digital music providers and allow for the collection and distribution of digital royalties to songwriters and publishers (those who create and own songs).
2. It allows for payments of royalties for master recordings that were created before 1972.
3. It allows music producers, mixers and sound engineers to share in royalties earned from the digital use of sound recordings.
What does this mean in plain English? It means that songwriters and music publishers will begin to earn monies for the digital use of their songs that will be similar to the digital royalties that have been earned for the use of master recordings for the past several years (which currently far exceeds the earnings for mecahnical liceses for the digital use of songs (music compositions).
As great as this news is, the music industry wouldn’t be interesting without a little drama. Enter “Article 13”. Let the web wars begin!
Article 13 is a very significant component of the new European Copyright Directive that was voted into law by the European Parliament in September. This provision will make You Tube liable for all musical content uploaded by its users. Those in favor of Article 13 feel that it is needed to make sure that You Tube is accountable for how music content is used which will protect the rights of the music owners. You Tube is strongly opposed to Article 13 claiming that it will cause them to have unlimited liability for music content used and will leave them no choice but to block large amounts of musical content to protect itself legally. As an artist and music rights advocate, I am in favor of Article 13. Upon reading it, it is clear to me that it does not take rights away from You Tube, but rather prevents abuse of music rights holders by holding You Tube accountable for how it uses and monetizes music content. Stay tuned! 2019 promises to be a turning point year in the Music Biz!