In response to SiriusXM‘s current opposition to certain portions of the Music Modernization Act (H.R. 5447), which passed the Senate unanimously as of Tuesday/September 18, songwriter Ross Golan has penned an open letter to SiriusXM‘s parent company Liberty Media threatening to boycott the service if they do not withdraw their opposition to the MMA. Attached to the open latter in show of their support for Golan‘s stand are Ms. Grey, as well as around 150 other music industry artists.

You may find a short overview of the MMA (via the RIAA) immediately below, followed by the complete letter+lengthy list of attached artists in full, then followed by SiriusXM‘s response to said letter.

NOTE :: Now that the MMA has passed the Senate, it will be returned to the House for final approval. After which the President will need to sign the bill in order for it to become law.

Music Modernization Act – Overview | RIAA ::
“….the Music Modernization Act updates copyright protections to include all creators and ensures that the music industry remains a viable option for the next generation. The Music Modernization Act would accomplish the following:

For Songwriters

  • Create a new and transparent collection entity to ensure that songwriters always get paid for mechanical licenses when digital services use their work.
  • Help ASCAP and BMI secure fairer rates for their songwriters.
  • Establish fair compensation for songwriters when the government sets rates.

For Artists

  • Close the “pre-1972 loophole” so that digital services will pay legacy artists the compensation they deserve.
  • Establish fair compensation for artists when the government sets rates.

For Studio Professionals

  • Give copyright protection to producers and engineers for the first time in history….”

SiriusXM v. MMA | Open Letter ::
“….Dear Greg Maffei, Scott Greenstein and Jim Meyer and Liberty Media Board of Directors Evan D. Malone, David E. Rapley, Larry E. Romrell, Brian M. Deevy, Andrea L. Wong, Robert R. Bennett, M. Ian G. Gilchrist and John C. Malone:

I’m writing you with grave concern about SiriusXM’s opposition to the Music Modernization Act (Classics Act included).

I’m CCing some of the greatest songwriters and artists in the history of the music business to show our solidarity in support of this legislation in its current form. We are all aware of your company’s objections and trepidation but let me say that this is an opportunity for SiriusXM to take a leadership position. As you are aware, 415 Representatives and 76 Senators have already cosponsored the MMA along with industry consensus. It’s SiriusXM vs all of us. We can either fight to the bitter end or celebrate this victory together. Rather than watch bad press and ill will pile up against SiriusXM, why not come out supporting the most consequential music legislation in 109 years? We do not want to fight and boycott your company but we will as we have other opponents. Stand with us! Be brave and take credit for being the heroes who helped the MMA become historic law! Momentum is building against SiriusXM and you still have an opportunity to come out on the right side of history. We look forward to your endorsement but the fire is burning and only you can put this out.

Sincerely yours,
Ross Golan and Legends CC-ed Here

Songwriters:
Ali Tamposi
Allee Willis
Ammar Malik
Andre Lindal
Andreas Carlsson
Andrew Cedar
Anne Preven
Anthony Preston
Antonia Armato
Ashley Gorley
Benny Blanco
Bert Berns
Billy Mann
Billy Steinberg
Bonnie McKee
Bryan Michael-Cox
Burt Bacharach
Busbee
Captain Cuts
Charlie Handsome
Claude Kelley
Claudia Brant
Cynthia Weil & Barry Man
Dallas Davidson
Damon Boot
Damon Bunetta
Damon Sharpe
Danielle Brisebois
Dave Bassett
David Hodges
David Simmons
Desmond Child
Diane Warren
Doc Pomus Estate
Emile Ghantous
Erica Discoll
Erika Ender
Ester Dean
Eve Nelson
Greg Kurstin
Greg Wells
Harvey Mason
Ian Kirkpatrick
J Kash
Jack Kugell
James Newton Howard
Jason Evigan
Jay Landers
Jayson Dezuzio
Jeff Trott
Jesse Shatkin
John Ryan
Jud Friedman
Julian Bunetta
Justin Tranter
Kara DioGuardi
Lauren Christy
Linda Perry
Lindy Robbins
Louis Bell
Louise Goffin
Luke Laird
Marc Shaiman
Max Martin
Michelle Lewis
Mike Stoller
Mozella
Neil Ormandy
Nicolle Galyon
Nolan Lambroza
Oak Felder
Oliver Heldens
Richard Jay Alexander
Rick Nowels
Ricky Reed
Rock Mafia
Ross Copperman
Rudy Perez
Sam Hollander
Sarah Aarons
Sarah Hudson
Savan Kotecha
Shelly Peiken
Simon Wilcox
Skylar Grey
Stargate
Stephen Bray
Steve Lashley
Steve Solomon
Steven Lashley
Stuart Crichton
The Heavyweights
The Stereotypes
Tim James
Toby Gad
Troy Verges
Wally Gagel
Walter Afanassief
Wayne Kirkpatrick
Xandy Berry
Zach Crowell

Artists/Musicians:
Sir Paul McCartney
Don Henley
Stevie Nicks
Mick Fleetwood
Steven Tyler
Joe Perry
Carole King
Carly Simon
Katy Perry
P!nk
OneRepublic: Ryan Tedder
Sia
John Legend
Adam Dorn
Adam Gorgoni
Alessia Cara
All-4-One
Aloe Blacc
Andrew Wyatt (Miike Snow band)
Bebe Rexha
Bird and The Bee: Inara George
Carly Simon
Carole King
Charlie Puth
Chris Isaak
Colbie Caillat
Eddie Money
Eurythmics: Dave Stewart
Garbage: Shirley Manson
Gloria & Emilio Estefan
Grace VanderWaal
Hootie & the Blowfish: Darius Rucker, Mark Bryan, Dean Felber and Jim Sonefeld
Jason Derulo
Jefferson Airplane: Grace Slick, Jorma Kaukonen, and Jack Casady
Jewel
Kasim Sulton
KC and The Sunshine Band: Harry Casey
Kevin Cronin
Little Feet: Lowell George Estate
Lori McKenna
LP
Melissa Manchester
Mindi Abair
Nelly Furtado
Rascal Flatts: Gary LeVox
Rusty Anderson
Sean Lennon
Semisonic: Dan Wilson
Sonic Youth: Kim Gordon
The Doors: John Densmore Robby Krieger
The Fray
The Mamas And The Papas: Michelle Phillips
The Pixies: Joey Santiago
The Pretenders: Chrissie Hynde
Thomas Rhett
Tom Higgenson: Plain White T’s
Tom Waits
Yeah Yeah Yeahs: Karen O and Nick Zinner

Executives/Business:
Aaron Bay Schuck
Aaron Rosenberg
Adam Anders
Alastair Lloyd Webber
Amanda Berman
Amanda Berman
Andrew Gould
Andrew Luftman
Ben Mawson
Ben Singer
Brendan Okrent
Connie Lim
Dan Petel
David Gray
Dina LaPolt
Ed Howard
Ed Millet
Jeff Jampol
Jon Lind
Justin Frazier
Katie Vinten
Kenny Aronoff
Kristina Grossman
Larry Wade
Lou Taylor
Maria Egan
Rachel Kurstin
Sheryl Louis
Susan Genco

Companies:
Modest Management
Big Deal Music
Milk And Honey
Mega House Music Mgmt.
Decible Entertainment….”

SiriusXM v. MMA | SiriusXM Reponse ::
“….Over the past several weeks, we have been the subject of some stinging attacks from the music community and artists regarding our views on the Music Modernization Act. Contrary to new reports and letters, this is really not about a SiriusXM victory, but implementing some simple, reasonable and straightforward amendments to MMA. There is nothing in our “asks” that gut the MMA or kills the Act. So let’s talk about the substance of the amendments we propose, because we truly do not understand the objections or why these concepts have incited such a holy war.

Contrary to the accusations, SiriusXM has proposed three simple amendments to the MMA.

First, SiriusXM has asked that the CLASSICS Act recognize that it has already licensed all of the pre-1972 works it uses. This amendment would ensure that artists – the people who are supposed to be at the heart of the MMA – receive 50% of the monies under those existing licenses. Is that unfair? Just today, Neil Diamond wrote in the LA Times that: “I receive a small amount of songwriting royalties, but no royalties as the recording artist.” How can that happen? To date, SiriusXM has paid nearly $250 million dollars in pre-‘72 royalties to the record labels. We want to make sure that a fair share of the monies we have paid, and will pay, under these licenses gets to performers. Without this provision, artists may never see any of the money SiriusXM paid, and will pay, for the use of pre-1972 works. Artists not getting paid hurts our business!

Second, Sirius XM thinks that the fair standard to use in rate setting proceedings is the standard that Congress chose in 1995 and confirmed again in 1998 – which is called the 801(b) standard. However, we are willing to move the “willing buyer/willing seller” standard contained in the MMA. In exchange, we have asked for the same concession that the MMA grants to other digital music services, but we were left out of — simply that the rates that were set last year for five years now apply for ten years. We thought this was a fair compromise when we read the “new” MMA that was released this weekend by the Senate, and are willing to live by that compromise.

Third, SiriusXM is asking the simple question: “Why are we changing the rate court evidence standard for musical compositions in this legislation so that it gives another advantage to broadcasters over satellite radio and streaming services?” There is no policy rationale for this change to tilt the playing field further in their favor, and frankly no one has been able to explain it to us. It is only fair that we debate why the change to Section 114(i) is in the MMA.

So that is the sum total of our changes. There is nothing hidden or underhanded in our views. We have offered these simple amendments on a one-pager. We are prepared to work with the NMPA and RIAA to adopt these amendments, pass the MMA, and move the music industry forward….”

——–        ——–        ——–
Follow @SkylarGrey on Twitter