Following MMA’s Approval, Copyright Royalty Board Goes into Overdrive

The Copyright Royalty Board has made several key changes to keep up with the Music Modernization Act.

Several months ago, following a last-minute SiriusXM deal, the Music Modernization Act (MMA) passed the Senate.  President Donald Trump signed the bill into law last month.

The bill aimed to modernize copyright-related issues for music and audio recordings.  The MMA streamlines the music licensing process, making it easier for rightsholders to receive fair payment on digital radio and streaming services.

Now, the Copyright Royalty Board (CRB) has gone into overdrive.

Over the past few weeks, the CRB has worked on amending existing regulations for rate determinations.

Last week, the federal agency extended a deadline for comments on modifications and amendments.  The CRB had issued a call on November 15th on which, if any, regulations for rate determinations needed changing.

On November 20th, copyright royalty judges confirmed the determination of royalty rates for songwriters and music publishers.  These terms will apply from January 1st, 2018 through December 31st, 2022.

The all-in rate will stand at 11.4% of gross revenue in 2018, going up to 12.3% next year.  In 2020, the rate will stand at 13.3%, and increase to 14.2% in 2021.  The rate will climb to 15.1% in 2022.

The total content cost (TCC) will stand at 22% this year and will climb to 23.1% in 2019.  In 2020, the TCC will stand at 24.1%, going up to 25.2% in 2021.  The rate will climb to 26.2% in 2022.

On Monday, the Copyright Royalty Board published its final regulations setting royalty rates through 2023.  This includes the terms for making copies of sound recordings for transmission to businesses.

In 2019, the basic royalty rate for ephemeral recordings will stand at 12.5%.

Ephemeral recordings are phonorecords created solely for facilitating a transmission of a public performance of a sound recording.

The rate will climb only .25% each passing year.  For example, in 2020, the rate will go up to 12.75%, and 13% in 2021.  In 2022, the basic royalty rate will stand at 13.25%, and will climb to 13.5% in 2022.

In addition, the CRB also extended comments and proposals regarding modifications and amendments to existing regulations until December 10th.

This includes whether controversies exist among claimants relating to distribution of cable and satellite television retransmissions royalty funds deposited with the US Copyright Office between 2014 and 2017.


Featured image by Bjoertvedt (CC by 3.0).