Hatch, Alexander: “Most Important Legislation in a Generation to Help Songwriters” Heads to President’s Desk

Posted on September 26, 2018

You can watch video here

WASHINGTON, September 25, 2018—United States Senators Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) and Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) said today the Music Modernization Act, which they’ve called “the most important legislation in a generation to help songwriters” be paid fair market value for their work, now heads to President Trump’s desk to become law.

“With House passage, this vitally important bill now heads to the President’s desk,” Hatch said. “For too long, songwriters have suffered under outdated, unfair licensing laws. The Music Modernization Act will change that and help ensure that songwriters actually get paid when their songs get played, and that they get paid a fair market rate. I look forward to being by the President’s side when he signs this bill into law in the near future.”

“The United States House of Representatives today passed our Music Modernization Act and sent it to the president for his signature,” Alexander said. “This is really big news for Tennessee -- from Beale Street in Memphis, through Music City, all the way to the birthplace of country music in Bristol. We have thousands of songwriters -- taxi drivers, music teachers -- struggling to make a living, and in the Internet age, they haven't been paid for their songs sometimes, and second, when they are paid, they're not paid a fair market value. The Music Modernization Act is the most important legislation in a generation to help make sure that our songwriters -- and songwriters all over America -- can keep working and make a decent living by making sure they're paid when their songs are played, and making sure that they're paid a fair market value for their work.”

Alexander spoke Tuesday about the bill on the Senate floor, and you can watch his remarks here. 

Steve Bogard, president of the Nashville Songwriters Association International, said, “This bill gives us the tools to obtain higher royalties for years to come so that songwriting can once again be a sustainable career. Tennessee Senator Lamar Alexander has made the passage of the MMA a top priority because he understands the importance of music to Tennessee’s economy and culture.”


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.

  • U.S. 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, and the Senate passed the legislation on September 18.
  • Today, the House of Representatives passed the legislation, and it now goes to President Trump’s desk to become law.