[Editor Charlie sez: The return of the “Hoffa clause”]
Major music publishers are expected to reap a massive and near-immediate windfall if the Music Modernization Act (MMA) passes into law, according to sources. But critics say that this unclaimed money doesn’t belong to them.
As the Music Modernization Act moves closer to a final vote in the Senate, critics are pointing to language in the bill that could unfairly benefit major music publishers.
Specifically, major publishers like Sony/ATV Music Publishing, Universal Music Publishing Group, Warner/ Chappell Music, and others stand to gain an estimated in $1.5 billion in unclaimed mechanical royalties within the first year of the bill’s passage, according to details shared by sources close to the legislation.
Earlier, controversy surrounded a clause that would distribute unclaimed mechanical royalties after just three years, based on existing marketshare. As part of the MMA’s payout process, streaming plays that are reported but not claimed will sit in an unmatched pile administered by the Mechanical Licensing Collective, or MLC, which would be created by the Music Modernization Act.
Effectively, that means that the MMA will distribute unclaimed royalties to publishers that do not actually own the copyrights.