From the Nashville Songwriters site:
WHY BLACKSTONE/HFA/SESAC PROPOSAL WILL KILL
MUSIC MODERNIZATION ACT
PLEASE HELP AND DO YOUR PART – CONTACT SESAC TO HELP SAVE THE
MUSIC MODERNIZATION ACT! (CONTACT INFO BELOW)
The Music Modernization Act (MMA) provides a simple answer to a very complex problem in music licensing. One of the main reasons the streaming companies have agreed to a fair rate standard that will likely result in a royalty hike for songwriters is efficiency; so they won’t have to go to a large number of multiple sources to obtain mechanical licenses. Instead they will get one blanket license from the new Music Licensing Collective (MLC) run by songwriters and music publishers.
Blackstone’s (parent company for SESAC who purchased The Harry Fox Agency in 2015) proposal would legally require each streaming service to hire another company to issue licenses, collect and distribute royalties IN ADDITION to the MLC. This added step would be costly to songwriters, who will pay NOTHING to the MLC and collect 100% of their royalties, because we’ve already negotiated with streaming companies to get them to pay the admin costs!
This proposed amendment is an attempt to make sure The Harry Fox Agency keeps their current business by forcing the death of the MMA, or gets more business because their proposal FORCES streaming companies to hire an agency IN ADDITION to the MLC to issue and administrate mechanical licenses.
The Digital Media Association has said they will not support the Blackstone proposal, nor pay for it. Neither will music publishers, record companies, NSAI or anyone else who worked for years to create a bill that Blackstone is trying to kill at the very last minute.
Under the MMA, The Harry Fox Agency will have every opportunity to become a vendor and do business on behalf of the MLC if they prove they can do a good job, thus promoting efficiency and competition. Instead, they want the government to REQUIRE and guarantee them business.
Blackstone owns both HFA and SESAC. Concerned songwriters should CONTACT SESAC and ask them to withdraw this proposal and support the Music Modernization Act as drafted. Call them at (615) 320-0055, email: firstname.lastname@example.org or tweet @SESAC to express your concern. Tell Blackstone, SESAC, Harry Fox to work with us so together we can find a mutually agreeable solution and pass the most important songwriter legislation in decades.
[And a Tweet with guidance from the top music lawyer who is the driving force behind the legislation:]