Congressman Cohen Applauds Passage of Music Modernization Act

April 25, 2018
Press Release
Bill Would Clarify Rights to Compensation for Legacy Musicians

WASHINGTON – Congressman Steve Cohen (TN-09) today applauded House passage of the Music Modernization Act, a bill updating provisions of federal copyright law to account for the transformation of the music industry by the internet, music streaming and smart phones. It also expands federal copyright protection to pre-1972 sound recordings to ensure that legacy artists are appropriately compensated for the use of their work. The measure passed 415 to 0.

At a House Judiciary Committee field hearing on the bill held in January, the panel heard from witness and Memphis musical genius Booker T. Jones who observed that his 1962 “Green Onions” is still treated as “pre-’72.”

Just before the measure passed, Congressman Cohen praised it in a floor speech. See those remarks here.

Congressman Cohen also made the following statement:

“The Music Modernization Act updates music licensing for the first time in 20 years and finally brings the law into the age of streaming. The bill contains elements of the Compensating Legacy Artists for their Songs, Service and Important Contributions to Society (CLASSICS) Act, which I co-sponsored, which will resolve uncertainties over copyright protections for certain pre-1972 sound recordings and clarify digital royalties for pre- and post-1972 sound recordings.

“The bill should be a boon to Memphis music, to legacy musicians and to the overall music economy. I am proud to support this measure.”