March 23, 2018
Senators Introduce Bill to Streamline Royalty Payments for Music Producers & Other Studio Professionals
WASHINGTON – A bipartisan group of senators, led by Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), introduced legislation to improve and simplify the payment of royalties owed to music producers, mixers and engineers. The Allocation for Music Producers (AMP) Act (S.2625) codifies these music creators’ rights to collect certain royalties from the performances of digital music that they’ve produced. The AMP Act is also cosponsored by the Judiciary Committee’s Ranking Member Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) and senators Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) and Kamala Harris (D-Calif.).
“Our non-controversial bill would codify into law the right of producers and other music professionals to collect certain royalties they have earned. This will help support the role of these important individuals in the creative process. With the introduction of this legislation, we take a positive step toward music reform and make sure that all in the industry have a fair shake at succeeding. I’m proud to lead this bipartisan effort, and look forward to the rapid enactment of this bill,” Grassley said.
“Great music is the work of not just great artists, but talented sound engineers, mixers, and producers as well. For the first time, this legislation protects their contributions under federal law, and ensures that they can receive the royalties they are due for their part in creating the music we so enjoy,” Feinstein said.
“Tennessee is blessed with a vibrant music industry composed of accomplished producers, talented songwriters, skilled musicians, and countless small and large businesses. However, while the industry has transformed with advances in technology and new platforms providing access to music, we have yet to modernize the way music creators are compensated for their work. This legislation will help improve the music marketplace so that it works not only for consumers but also the countless people who bring to life the music we enjoy each day,” Corker said.
“Producer, mixers, and engineers play an indispensable role in the creation of music we love,” Harris said. “Though their contributions are being made behind the scenes, these studio professionals should not be denied fair pay for their work.”
For more than two decades, music performers have been able to collect a 45 percent performance royalty from non-interactive digital music performances. However, producers and other professionals supporting music production were not included in the law establishing such royalty rights. They often enter into agreements with performers to collect a portion of the performers’ royalties. Those royalty payments are processed by SoundExchange, an independent nonprofit that collects and distributes royalties to music creators and copyright holders. The AMP Act streamlines the royalty payment process by allowing SoundExchange to directly pay producers, mixers and engineers, pursuant to agreements with music performers.
The Amp Act is supported by the Recording Academy, which represents music creators, performers, songwriters, producers, engineers and other music professionals.
Similar legislation has been introduced in the House of Representatives. Text of the Senate’s AMP Act is available HERE.
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