President Donald Trump Signs Landmark Music Bill Into Law
President Trump signed the eagerly anticipated Music Modernization Act into law at a ceremony at the White House on Thursday, in the most high-profile event for the music industry in several years.
Mike Love and Kid Rock, two of Trump’s most visible supporters in the music community, were at the White House for the signing alongside Sam Moore of Sam & Dave, country singer John Rich and the Doobie Brothers’ Jeff “Skunk” Baxter.
Intended to update music copyright law for the digital era, H.R. 1551 (formally the “Orrin G. Hatch-Bob Goodlatte Music Modernization Act”) accomplishes three key things: making sure songwriters and artists receive royalties on songs recorded before 1972; allocating royalties for music producers; and updating licensing and royalty rules for streaming services to pay rights-holders in a more streamlined fashion, via a new, independent entity. Under the act, many music creators will have a more reliable way of collecting the money that they’re due.
“You like this legislation or do you hate it?” Trump asked Kid Rock. “I like it,” replied Kid Rock.
“Everybody knows this business of music is a very dirty business,” Rock said after the signing. “There’s a lot more that needs to be done here. We need to go after the record labels next, and things like free goods. But this is a great start to protect songwriters, producers, engineers — the unsung heroes behind many of these songs that go out there.
People like myself who are maybe more at the top of the food chain, it really doesn’t affect as much. But I know many people it does affect.” Kanye West is due to meet with Trump at the White House today, but did not appear at the signing ceremony.
The president delivered prepared comments calling the MMA a milestone that would “close loopholes” in copyright law and help music creators get paid. “They were treated very unfairly. They’re not going to be treated unfairly anymore,” Trump added.