The Artist Rights Alliance and the Arts and Business Council of Greater Nashville hosted a panel discussion explaining the recently passed Music Modernization Act on February 22. “Unpacking the Music Modernization Act (MMA)” played to a full house and was another exciting milestone in our expanding educational mission.
Our own Erin McAnally led the panel, and we were honored to be joined by Congressman Jim Cooper, ARA board member Rosanne Cash, singer-songwriter Parker Millsap, Nashville music attorney Leighton Linning, and ARA Executive Director Ted Kalo.
The panel kicked off with Erin’s summary of the MMA. She explained how it will ensure legacy artists finally get the pay they deserve by closing the pre-1972 loophole. And she walked through the function and operations of the new Collective established by the bill to collect and administer mechanical royalties.
Representative Jim Cooper was a driving force behind the passage of the MMA, an original cosponsor of the legislation and a longstanding artist champion. He noted that music payment is way too complicated. While he praised the changes the MMA made, he hopes to do even more, jokingly adding that he wants to pass a music modernization bill that is actually modern. The next big thing he flagged is stopping big tech from cheating artists.
ARA Board Member Rosanne Cash talked about how she became involved in the MMA effort and her experience testifying before the very first Congressional hearing on the bill. She spoke about the importance of ending the unfair treatment of elderly performers. Ms. Cash and audience member-turned-panelist Parker Millsap also had an impromptu dialogue about generational differences in how artists view sales versus streaming.
Special thanks to the Arts and Business Council of Greater Nashville, our own Chelsea Crowell and Erin McAnally for putting the panel together. Artists Rights Alliance views our educational mission as a cornerstone of our work, and our educational programs as one of our biggest successes. We expect to expand on this work in the months ahead.