3 Count: Musical Modernization

Can't believe anything passes unanimously these days...

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1: Senate Passes Music Modernization Act

First off today, Variety reports that the Senate has unanimously passed the Music Modernization Act, a move that comes following a compromise with SiriusXM.

The act is actually a combination of three acts, the original Music Modernization Act, the CLASSICS Act (Compensating Legacy Artists for their Songs, Service, & Important Contributions to Society Act) and the AMP Act (Allocation for Music Producers Act). The act, among other things, updates streaming royalties and ensures that pre-1972 artists receive royalties for digital uses of their work.

The act had previously passed the House unanimously but stalled in the Senate due to last-minute objections by SiriusXM. However, a compromise resolved those issues and the bill was passed unanimously. The bill must now go back to the House to approve the changes. 

2: US Court of Appeals Upholds Copyright Royalty Board Webcasting Rates, Despite Sound Exchange’s Objections

Next up today, Ed Christman at Billboard reports that the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit has upheld the royalty rate set by the Copyright Royalty Board, despite objections from Sound Exchange, the organization responsible for collecting those royalties. 

Previously the Copyright Royalty Board had set a rate of $0.0017 per song play from ad-supported services and $0.0022 per song play for paid subscription services. The ad-supported rate represented an increase from $0.0014 in the previous term but the paid subscription rate represented a drop from $0.0025 per play.

Sound Exchange claimed that the rates were simply too low and that the Copyright Royalty Board had erred in its analysis. However, the Appeals Court has upheld that analysis and also backed the Copyright Royalty Board’s decision that auditors must be certified public accountants. The new rates are in effect from 2016 – 2020.

3: Daft Punk and The Weeknd Are Being Sued for Alleged Plagiarism on ‘Starboy’

Finally today, Harrison Williams at MixMag reports that a musician named Yasminah has filed lawsuit against both Daft Punk and The Weeknd alleging that their song Starboy is a copyright infringement of her song Hooyo.

Starboy was a collaboration between The Weeknd and Daft Punk, topping the charts shortly after its release in 2016. However, Yasminah claims that Starboy is based heavily on her 2009 song Hooyo, Yasminah also claims that two of her producers threatened litigation and received settlements though she has not seen any funds from those cases. 

The lawsuit is seeking at least $5 million in damages. The lawsuit is seeing a great deal of support from fans of Yasminah, with most of the comments encouraging the lawsuit.

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