Following conflicts concerning the Music Modernization Act (MMA), SESAC and songwriter organizations have reached a compromise that facilitates the passage of the legislation, Variety reports. Before tensions mounted, the legislation was fast-tracked for passage after being approved unanimously last June by the Senate Judiciary Committee following a unanimous vote by the House of Representative in May.
On July 17, however, Blackstone, parent company to SESAC, proposed additions to the bill that many claimed would derail its integrity. Nashville Songwriters Association said of the proposal, “It’s not a proposal in good faith. They’ve had well over a year to discuss any changes they wanted to make in this bill. And many times they’ve said, ‘We support it; it’s good for songwriters.’
“So to come forth with a proposal that radically alters the bill in this way is just disingenuous and frustrating. I would add that it’s a bad proposal. It adds layers of duplicate services and costs and is just a non-starter for all of the primary stakeholders who crafted this bill. I hope they will back off from it and that we can move on and pass legislation that’s great for songwriters.”
According to Billboard, SECAC and the songwriting organizations were strongly urged by Senators to negotiate terms which resulted in the August 2 compromise stating the Mechanical Licensing Collective (MLC) would only collect and administer mechanical licenses and not public performance royalties.
The compromise is intended to facilitate industry reforms and increase earnings for songwriters. Dina LaPolt, an attorney advisor to Songwriters of North America says of the compromise, “I have been telling everyone for decades that it all starts with a song! See what happens when the creators mobilize with one voice? They made it happen. Songwriters and music creators can change the world when they mobilize.”