The authors educate us on two major flaws in the Music Modernization Act: unmatched royalties and the unprecedented denial of statutory damages and attorneys’ fees for successfully litigated infringment claims.
The U.S. government has done practically nothing in 20 years to protect songwriters from the massive onslaught of those tech companies that benefit directly from getting rid of the statutory damages available to any copyright owner, big or small. The one hammer that every songwriter has to protect their rights is the statutory damages and attorneys’ fees rules that have been in place for 100 years. If the government takes away these rights, what will replace them? Apparently nothing. Well, a private attorney general is better than no attorney general at all.
While many in the music industry welcome this bill, smaller publishers and songwriters may be surprised to learn that several of the provisions in the Music Modernization Act may harm their interests–and appears to be designed in part to shut up the working songwriter. The authors offer thoughtful analysis on this latest affront to property rights protected by the Constitution.