WASHINGTON, DC -- This morning, the Senate Judiciary Committee approved the Music Modernization Act (MMA) by unanimous voice vote. The MMA includes language that will formally establish a role for Congress as the Department of Justice reviews consent decrees with the two largest performing rights organizations — ASCAP and BMI — which collectively license over 90% of the musical works that are played on local radio and television stations. The following statement can be attributed to NAB President and CEO Gordon Smith:
“NAB strongly supports the Music Modernization Act, and applauds the efforts of Chairman Grassley, Ranking Member Feinstein, and Senators Hatch, Whitehouse and their cosponsors on this bill. This balanced legislation provides much needed reforms to the music licensing market to the benefit of songwriters, legacy recording artists, producers, digital streaming services and music users.
"In particular, NAB applauds the inclusion of language in today’s managers’ amendment that ensures enhanced congressional oversight of the DOJ’s announced review of the ASCAP and BMI consent decrees. The framework provided by these decrees is essential to a functioning music marketplace and they were comprehensively reviewed just two years ago with the DOJ concluding that their continued existence is squarely in the public interest. Any action to terminate these decrees must be preceded by Congressional action to ensure that songwriters, licensees, and consumers will not be harmed. NAB looks forward to working with all Senators as the Music Modernization Act moves forward and urges its swift passage.”
The National Association of Broadcasters is the premier advocacy association for America's broadcasters. NAB advances radio and television interests in legislative, regulatory and public affairs. Through advocacy, education and innovation, NAB enables broadcasters to best serve their communities, strengthen their businesses and seize new opportunities in the digital age. Learn more at www.nab.org.