Goodlatte Music Legislation Unanimously Passes House

Apr 25, 2018

Credit AP Photo / Andrew Harnik

Congressman Bob Goodlatte may be on his way out of Congress. But he’s not ready for his swan song yet.

Streaming services have revolutionized how people listen to music. But licensing laws were written for a different era, and many artists complain they get pennies even though their songs are streamed millions of times. The streaming services live in a constant state of fear of being sued.

Now along comes along Republican Congressman Bob Goodlatte of Roanoke, who is ushering the Music Modernization Act thought the House this week.

Read More: Goodlatte Legislation Seeks to Modernize Music Industry

“Music is no longer written on piano rolls, and our laws shouldn’t be based on that technology any longer either.”

Yes, that’s right. Player piano rolls. That was all the rage when the law was originally written in 1909. Since then, music and technology have moved on. But the law has not.

Congressman Hank Johnson of Georgia says he’s voting for the law so that songs written before 1972 will receive compensation from streaming services.

“That is why this section of the bill is supported by Dionne Warwick, Duke Fauquier of the Four Tops, Tina Turner and the estates of Miles Davis and Otis Redding.”

The bill has support from every corner of the industry, from artists to producers and sound engineers and streaming services. House members approved it with a unanimous vote Wednesday afternoon.

This report, provided by Virginia Public Radio, was made possible with support from the Virginia Education Association.