Miss. Senator Says Bill Will Help Musicians from the “Birthplace of American Music”

WASHINGTON, D.C. – President Trump today signed into law a measure cosponsored by U.S. Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-Miss.) to ensure musicians are more fairly compensated for their work, a reform that would benefit Mississippi as the “Birthplace of American Music.”

The Music Modernization Act reforms music copyright and licensing laws to simplify how musicians, songwriters, and others in the music industry are compensated for the work they create.  The measure has widespread support within the music industry, including digital streaming services.

“Music is in Mississippi’s DNA, whether it’s the blues, country music, folk, or rock ‘n’ roll.  It’s not just a source of cultural pride, but also a strong contributor to our economy,” Hyde-Smith said.

“Music copyright and licensing laws haven’t kept up with technology or the times.  The Music Modernization Act fixes that with a comprehensive set of reforms that will help musicians receive royalties they are owed while ensuring the public has access to that music,” she said.

The new law creates a new, simplified licensing system for digital music companies to obtain a license for songs, while also ensuring that songwriters are paid the royalties they are owed.  Additionally, it revises outdated songwriter royalty standards to ensure songwriters are paid a fair market rate for their work.

“Fair payment for intellectual property is essential to maintain America’s longstanding position as the world leader in music and entertainment.  And when they say ‘world leader,’ it's world leader, by far.  It's not even close,” President Trump said at the White House signing ceremony Thursday.  “This legislation accomplishes that goal by updating our licensing laws to reflect the significant growth in streaming and digital music.”

The bill signed into law is officially titled the Orrin G. Hatch-Bob Goodlatte Music Modernization Act.  In May, Hyde-Smith cosponsored the Senate version of this legislation, S.2823.