Thorny Fights
For a sign of how thorny music fights get in Washington, look no further than the Music Modernization Act, a bill passed to determine compensation for older recordings and set up a body to govern how streaming services pay for mechanical licenses. Despite support from technology companies and music companies, the bill took months to put together and was almost derailed a couple of times.

Though the legislation was signed into law, one of its main proposals hasn’t gone into effect. The tech companies agreed to fund an organization that would create a copyright database and collect royalties. The U.S. copyright office selected a bid from songwriter lobbyists for how the group should run.

But songwriters, lobbyists and tech companies are still debating how much money the organization needs to fund it. David Israelite, the head of the National Music Publishers’ Association, said the tech companies aren’t willing to spend enough. The streaming services are unwavering in their commitment to pay for reasonable costs, according to Garrett Levin, the head of a trade group representing the tech companies. Another songwriting group said it’s too early in the process to know what will happen.

Neither of these groups speaks for the songwriters that must be compensated, according to Susan Genco, an industry veteran and board member for the Music Artists Coalition.

“We want state and national legislatures to know that if you want a true artist’s perspective, not one that may be compromised, this is the organization you call,” Genco said. “This is for artists, by artists and from artists.”

This article was provided by Bloomberg News.

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