PHOENIX, Ore., Sept. 19, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- It was announced earlier this week that the Senate has hot-lined the historic and increasingly controversial Music Modernization Act. Iconic Artist's Executive Director, Michael J. Flynn was in DC last week meeting with key Congressional stakeholders creating the bill, advocating for a third party fact checker to provide equal data transparency in royalty tracking and a level playing field under the law for all the primary stakeholders: artists, publishers and streaming services.
Iconic Artists thanks Congress for all of its efforts in advancing legislation that will empower musicians to reclaim their rights and address injustices to generations of artists. As an artist-driven company, Iconic Artists appreciates how important oversight is in the recovery and distribution of royalties from digital streaming services and keeping the existing PRO's honest and accurate in their reporting to publishers.
Once passed, the Music Modernization Act will be groundbreaking legislation for the music industry and a positive step forward for composers, artists, and rights holders who have failed to receive fair compensation for their work. Flynn said, "We applaud Congress for succeeding in a long battle to address inadequacies in policing streaming content. The mechanical rights collective described in the MMA has the potential to transform the way royalties are identified and distributed, providing certainty in the industry and ending costly and unnecessary litigation for artists and publishers alike. There is also the possibility that the MMA will create a quagmire of bureaucratic red tape that will only make the accurate and timely royalty administration more difficult."
Just days before the bill was hot-lined in the Senate after receiving unanimous approval in the House this summer, a purported $1.5 Billion dollars has been collected and not distributed to artists. This money would revert back to the publishers if unclaimed. The bill has also come under fire from non-terrestrial streamers who claim unfair treatment under the law relative to terrestrial streamers who have been grandfathered non-payment of performance royalties to artists and exploited loopholes in copyright law that have allowed free usage of content they do not own or license.
The MMA will establish a non-profit entity to govern the digital rights of the music community. This is intended to provide equal protection under the law to all rights holders. Flynn continued, "We feel that the collective could benefit from additional safeguards. While the collective already fosters transparency and accountability, a independent third-party organization to serve as an intermediary between the collective and the rights holders would help instill even more credibility to the process. With billions in royalties being investigated and redistributed, the collective would be bolstered by another layer of oversight from a group dedicated to artists' rights. The auditing provision as it currently stands is insufficient."
Enabling the collective to employ an independent third-party to identify and mitigate copyright infringements would create a set of checks and balances. This would make a good idea even better.
Michael J. Flynn, Executive Director
831 277 9716
SOURCE Iconic Artists LLC