According to a news story on Billboard.com, Steve Tyler, front man for band Arrowsmith, has initiated a call on Congress to pass the Music Modernization Act (MMA). This would allow songwriters to be fairly paid among the many digital streaming services that most music listeners are using in the world of online music streaming. The bipartisan-backed bill would address the issues songwriters have faced when it comes to getting paid fully for the music that they’ve poured their hearts and souls into. This is a problem that has faced the industry and songwriters alike for several years with streaming services such as Pandora and Spotify where music is essentially played on-demand by the end user, who typically pays a small monthly service fee.
According to the article, “Equally important to improving the efficiency of getting songwriters paid is getting them paid fair rates. Since 1909 songwriter rates have been dictated by law, not by what’s negotiated in the real world, or the free market. Unlike artists and authors who create things, songwriters’ rates are determined by a court, and that court doesn’t even look at all the evidence to decide what songwriters deserve. The MMA improves this by telling the judges to look at what songwriters would make if they were in a free market, which will raise what songwriters are paid.”
The bill will improve performance royalties, allowing BMI and ASCAP the ability to set a fairer payout with higher rates for their songwriters. Most of the digital companies support the MMA bill as well.
See more on this newly introduced legislation at Billboard.com.