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The ‘Music Modernization Act’ Prohibits Litigation Against Streaming Services

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Old 01-11-2018, 04:02 AM
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Default The ‘Music Modernization Act’ Prohibits Litigation Against Streaming Services

DigitalMusicNews:
...(T)he ‘Music Modernization Act’ (H.R. 4706)...is designed to greatly modernize digital-era royalties and solve a gaggle of previous lawsuits...But here’s the catch...

Just ahead of the new year, Wixen Music Publishing filed a $1.6 billion lawsuit against Spotify alleging non-payment of mechanical publishing royalties...Randall Wixen, head of Wixen Music Publishing (says):
“It’s a really good act. But on page 82 of that act is a clause that says if you don’t file a lawsuit against a music streaming company by Jan. 1, 2018, you lose your rights to get compensated. If that act was passed, and we hadn’t filed a suit by Jan. 1, we would have forfeited that right. It would retroactively give a free pass for a streaming service that has infringed on music rights in the past to build a service worth maybe $20 billion once it goes public."
...(T)hat sneaky provision basically gives companies like Spotify a get-out-of-jail-free card. So instead of owing $1.6 billion (or whatever the damages are), Spotify owes $0 on pre-2018 royalties if the Music Modernization Act is passed.

The Act has been unilaterally supported by ASCAP, BMI, and NMPA, among others. Obviously, Wixen isn’t among the supporters — at least as it relates to royalty forgiveness...
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