After a lengthy process and a fair amount of music industry squabbling, the U.S. Senate unanimously passed the Music Modernization Act on September 19.
The MMA was developed as a direct response to a rapidly changing and shifting music industry that’s still sprinting to catch up to the upheaval caused by streaming services and the shift in how digital royalties are accumulated and ultimately paid. The act will bring immediate changes including royalties for artists and songwriters on songs recorded before 1972, allocating additional royalties for music producers; and updating streaming service licensing and royalty rules to better and more easily pay rights-holders.
Overall, it means the piece of the modern music industry pie for creators and labels gets a little bit bigger. Orrin Hatch, the senator from Utah who championed the bill’s push through Congress, was quick to point out how much more change the music industry still needs in a statement. Says Hatch,
“With this bill, we are one step closer to historic reform for our badly outdated music laws. That the MMA is a boon to creators in the music industry is true. However, the long and internally contentious path to make just three modest changes to copyright rules highlights one reason why more hasn’t been done.”
The Music Modernization Act (MMA) has passed unanimously in the Senate Judiciary Committee, taking music creators a step closer to appropriate licensing and royalty rules for the streaming era. It now has to pass a full Senate vote before hitting the president’s desk.
The music copyright overhaul essentially partners Apple Music, Spotify, and publishers under a single licensing agency, streamlining the license management process. Songwriters and accredited artists will be paid out for songs recorded before 1972, while new rights will be granted to music producers and mixers. Older musicians who missed the streaming boom and studio engineers look to benefit here in the form of royalty checks coming their way if passed.
One of the most important facets of the bill is an overall standardization of payment rates between distribution services and rights-holders. It’s about time music law addressed the streaming industry because the current system is still set up for physical music copies.
Although the MMA has received criticism for its lack of consideration towards medium-sized business, most in the industry are in favor, seeing this as a long-awaited, financial organization of the current music landscape. D.I.Y. musicians, and musicians who own their own rights might still have trouble policing ineffective or inefficient licensing practices. More established artists, publishers, studio producers, and labels labels will benefit, giving them more time to focus on creating music and less time worrying about licensing and royalty structures. It’s a step in the right direction on this long trek towards fair compensation for music creators.
DJ/Producer Marshmello has taken the electronic music scene by storm two short years after making his debut performance. The producer is famed for his anonymity thanks to his iconic helmet
For years the electronic music community has tried to coerce his identity out of him but Marshmello has stuck to his guns by steadfastly refusing to give up his identity as well as playing a prank or two on fans about it—like that time he had Tiesto pretend to reveal himself as Marshmello at EDC Vegas.
While the community was smart enough to determine that Tiesto was indeed NOT the famed producer, there has been increased speculation that Marshmello is Chris Comstock, otherwise known as Dotcom. This is thanks to Skrillex calling Marshmello “Chris” in an interview along with a discovery that Marshmello and Dotcom had the same exact tattoo.
Thanks to a recent Forbes article, we now may have the final substantiation needed to 100% confirm that Marshmello is indeed Chris Comstock/Dotcom. Forbes published a royalty monitor for Marshmello’s newest single “Silence,” which lists Comstock as the only songwriter on the track aside from Khalid. “Marshmello” is not credited anywhere.
For his part, the producer used his Twtitter account to address the Forbes publication, saying:
I don’t take my helmet off because I don’t want or need fame. I’m genuinely trying to create something positive for people to connect with