Hatch’s historic Music Modernization Act passes Senate by unanimous consent

Senators Orrin Hatch (R-UT) and Lamar Alexander (R-TN) lauded passage of the Music Modernization Act—a bipartisan bill that they described as “the most important legislation in a generation” to help songwriters be paid fair market value for their work. 

The bill, which attracted bipartisan support from 82 Senate co-sponsors and passed unanimously, now goes to the House of Representatives for a final vote before it goes to the President’s desk for signature. The Senate also agreed with Alexander’s request that the bill be named in honor of Senator Hatch who is retiring in January. Click [HERE] for full video.

“With this bill, we are one step closer to historic reform for our badly outdated music laws,” Hatch said. “The Music Modernization Act provides a solution, and it does so in a way that brings together competing sides of the music industry and both sides of the political spectrum. As a songwriter myself, I know firsthand how inefficient the current music marketplace is. The MMA will benefit all artists who make music such a rich, vibrant, and meaningful part of American life.”

“Not only have laws governing songwriter royalties not kept up with the arrival of the internet, they have not been modernized since the days of the player piano a century ago. As a result, it has become impossible for most songwriters to make a decent living,” Alexander said. “Our legislation will help make sure songwriters are paid when their songs are played, and that they are paid a fair market value for their work. Our success in Congress is the result of most parts of the music industry—songwriters, publishers, digital music companies and broadcasters—working together on what they agree on instead of fighting over what they disagree about. It is taken several years to do this but I believe the results will be well worth the effort.”       


The Music Modernization Act creates a new, simplified licensing system to make it easier for digital music companies to obtain a license for songs. The simplified system will also ensure that songwriters are paid the royalties they are owed. In addition, the bill revises outdated songwriter royalty standards to ensure songwriters are paid a fair market rate for their work.

  • Senators Hatch and Alexander introduced the Music Modernization Act in the Senate on May 10, 2018.
  • The Senate Judiciary Committee unanimously approved the legislation on June 28, 2018.
  • Today, the Senate passed the Music Modernization Act. The bill now goes to the House of Representatives for a final vote before the President signs it into law.

The legislation has received virtually unheard of support across the music industry and will make a lasting difference for songwriters, recording artists, producers, sound engineers, digital music companies, and other music stakeholders. To read more  about the proposal, click [HERE].