Today (Oct. 11) marks a victory for musicians across the United States, as President Trump will sign the Music Modernization Act (MMA) into law. Kid Rock and Kanye West — both outspoken Trump supporters — will be in attendance at roughly 11:45AM, when the signing is expected to take place.

The Music Modernization Act, which fights for fairer royalty pay, is split into four main parts:

- Ending the bulk Notice of Intent (NOI) process through the Copyright Office, which can prevent songwriters from being compensated or compensated in a timely manner.
- Requiring the Copyright Royalty Board to consider free-market conditions when determining royalty rates.
- Enacting a “wheel” approach so the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) and Broadcast Music Inc. (BMI) are assigned random judges for rate setting disputes instead of being assigned the same court judge for all cases.
- Moving the industry to a fairer system under which performance rights organizations and songwriters would have the opportunity to present evidence about the other facets of the music ecosystem to judges.

Musicians have fought for Music Modernization Act for quite some time, with Mastodon actually visiting Washington D.C. to meet with representatives Dough Collins (R-Ga.) and Judy Chu (D-Calif.). "If this continues, the artist is gonna disappear, because we cannot afford to go out here,” said guitarist Bill Kelliher in support of the MMA.

Aerosmith’s Steven Tyler also contributed to a commentary piece on the act earlier this year. “Since 1909, songwriter rates have been dictated by law, not by what's negotiated in the real world or the free market," he said. "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 Music Modernization Act passed unanimously in both the House of Representatives and the Senate, so it will make its way to Trump’s desk for the President to officially sign it into law. We’d like to congratulate all the artists who will have a better chance of living off their music thanks to the MMA. Now get out there and create!

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