Senate approves Music Modernization Act, first major reform to copyright law in a generation

Senate approves Music Modernization Act, first major reform to copyright law in a generation
Paul McCartney, Kim Gordon, Katy Perry, and More Agree to Boycott Sirius XM Over Music Modernization Act
SiriusXM has objected to provisions in the bill that force the satellite radio company to pay royalties on pre-1972 recordings, which was previously not one of their responsibilities. They argue that the Act specifically benefits their terrestrial radio competitors. An attorney supporting the MMA wrote to Variety, calling SiriusXM’s “unwillingness to support songwriters and artists [a] complete travesty given that every other group in the music industry has endorsed the bill. This shows their disgusting corporate greed at the expense of Americas greatest treasures..…. our legacy artists.

Songwriter and podcast host Ross Golan penned the group of musicians’ open letter, writing to the satellite radio company: “As you are aware, 415 Representatives and 76 Senators have already cosponsored the MMA along with industry consensus. Its SiriusXM vs all of us. We can either fight to the bitter end or celebrate this victory together….Momentum is building against SiriusXM and you still have an opportunity to come out on the right side of history.”

Music Modernization Act Could be Approved This Week

Read the MMA supporters’ full open letter at Variety, and SiriusXM’s full rebuttal at Billboard.

SiriusXM’s opposition to elements of the Music Modernization Act has been met with a wave of protest from the creative community, unfairly so, according to the satellite broadcaster. 

On Monday, some 150 musicians and industry professionals signed an open letter, threatening to boycott SiriusXM’s parent Liberty Media over its protest again the new bill. The likes of Paul McCartney, Sia Don Henley, Pink and Max Martin have called on SiriusXM to end the impasse, or else. 

Now, SiriusXM has responded to some of the “stinging” criticism. “There is nothing hidden or underhanded in our views,” the company notes in a statement, seen by Billboard. “We have offered these simple amendments on a one-pager.  We are prepared to work with the NMPA and RIAA to adopt these amendments, pass the MMA, and move the music industry forward.”

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