Modern Music Licensing

Music is a core part of our personal identity and shared culture, and fans have clearly spoken: streaming is how they want to engage with music and their favorite creators.

The rise of streaming has ushered in a new golden era for music based around the shared understanding that without music, streaming services would suffer, and without streaming services, creators and fans would suffer. The recognition of a virtuous partnership between creators and streaming platforms lies at the heart of the new music industry.

This is why DiMA is at the forefront of ensuring that this progress is sustained and allowed to flourish through music licensing law and policies that fit the modern music industry. The time is now to ensure that policymakers and the music industry get it right through collaboration and cooperation.

Music Modernization Act: Doing it Right

The Music Modernization Act (MMA), signed into law in 2018, brings an outdated licensing regime into the 21st century digital age of music, and ensures copyright owners are paid for their music and services can continue to innovate for fans, artists, and the entire music community. Passage of the legislation reflected recognition by streaming services, songwriters, music publishers, artists, record labels, and, most importantly, policymakers that the music industry has forever evolved by dint of technological innovation and consumer choice.

From the law’s inception to its passage, DiMA and its members advocated fiercely for a system that serves the entire music community. The MMA demonstrated what is possible when an entire industry can put aside differences and come together to create improvements for all. DiMA remains committed to ensuring that the law is properly implemented, building a forward-looking system that serves fans, artists, songwriters, and copyright holders.

Consent Decrees

First established in 1941 to address the anticompetitive activities by ASCAP and BMI around licensing the public performance of musical works, the consent decrees remain critically important today. The decrees promote competition in the marketplace by ensuring that all licensees—from the corner bar to the innovative streaming service—can obtain the necessary licenses to play music on fair terms.

DiMA and its member companies believe the consent decrees make the music industry of today what it is by promoting a healthy and competitive music marketplace that benefits music fans, creators and the industry writ large.

Related Resources

  • DiMA: Statement on Appointment of Shira Perlmutter as Register of Copyrights

  • The Music Modernization Act – Summary

  • U.S. Copyright Office – The Music Modernization Act Implementation

Related Resources

  • DiMA: Statement on DOJ Decision to Maintain Existing ASCAP & BMI Consent Decrees

  • Garrett Levin: Critics of ASCAP and BMI Consent Decrees Are Missing the Point | Billboard

  • Public Comments: DiMA on DOJ Public Workshop on Competition in Licensing Performance Rights

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