President Trump Signs the Music Modernization Act into Law


Surrounded by musicians from nearly every genre, President Trump signed into law the Music Modernization Act – a measure that will overhaul how music is licensed and songwriters are compensated in the United States.

As previously reported by The Tennessee Star, the bill, sponsored by retiring Utah Sentor Orrin Hatch, was designed to update the outdated copyright laws governing songwriting to reflect the realities of the 21st century.

Kid Rock, Mercy Me, the Beach Boys, Sam Moore, Craig Morgan and John Rich – along with music industry bigwigs such as Neil Portnow and the infamous Busbee were among those joining the president at the White House.

The president explained:

The Music Modernization Act closes loopholes in our digital royalty laws to ensure that songwriters, artists, producers, and providers receive fair payment for the licensing of music.  I’ve been reading about this for many years. [I] never thought I’d be involved in it, but I got involved in it.  They were treated very unfairly.  They’re not going to be treated unfairly anymore.  Streaming has made music more accessible than ever, yet our laws have not kept up with the pace of technology.  As such, artists of all varieties and all career stages are losing out on revenue that they have rightly earned.

This legislation creates a single licensing system for reasons of simplicity, for digital music providers, so that music is more quickly licensed and paid for.  It ensures that American songwriters receive fair market value when their songs are streamed or purchased online and sets a standard licensing rate for digital performances.

The Music Modernization Act was passed unanimously through both houses of Congress. “How did you do that?” the president joked.  “This legislation accomplishes that goal by updating our licensing laws to reflect the significant growth in streaming and digital music.” He continued, “Today, we build on America’s rich cultural and musical legacy, which brings joy and meaning to countless millions and millions and millions of Americans, and beyond, frankly. And beyond.”

Social Media was abuzz regarding this magnanimous event.

Big and Rich tweeted, “BIG day for us and all of our brothers & sisters in the music community – the Music Modernization Act has been SIGNED and is law of the land!!”

Nashville songwriter Lee Thomas Miller stated on Instagram, “Today Steve Bogard and I had the honor of being at the White House to watch the POTUS sign the Music Modernization Act. For the first time since the federal copyright law was written, 109 years ago, the songwriters had a say in our own future.”

Another Nashville songwriter, Regie Hamm, declared on Facebook, “If you make your living in the song business, on any level, this is a good day for you …”

Watch the signing ceremony:

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Bethany Bowman is an entertainer writer for  The Tennessee Star.  You can follow her on Twitter and Instagram.


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