These days, all news seems to underscore the bitter divisions that plague our nation’s political culture. Elected officials use ad hominem attacks, lies, and uncompromising self-righteousness to cynically pursue their own interests.
While this week had its share of depressing political stories, one notable event fell outside of this trend.
The Senate voted to pass the Music Modernization Act of 2018, a major piece of forward-thinking legislation that will have an enormous impact on the arts and culture industry and the nation as a whole.
The unanimous decision follows the success of a similar bill in the House this past April, which also passed unanimously. Should the House approve the changes to the legislation, it will only require a presidential signature to become law.
The bill’s purpose is to bring music copyright law into the 21st century. For too long, songwriters and musicians have watched their earnings plummet as antiquated laws failed to keep up with computer technology and changes to how music is disseminated. The Music Modernization Act, for example, will simplify music licensing in order to help artists secure their royalties from digital streaming outlets. It also protects producers and audio engineers; for the first time, these professionals will have their work explicitly protected by copyright law.
Along with other improvements embedded in the bill, these changes will serve as a much needed jolt of energy to the arts and culture industry, guaranteeing creative rights for a greater number of workers in the sector than ever before.
This historic policy shift occurred despite today’s bitter partisanship in Washington, demonstrating that we can still work together for the social good. We must demand more of this from our elected officials.