Senators are considering a bill that would hand control of the music industry to the federal government.
The bill, backed by Amazon, would establish a “collective” that would pay out to certain companies – like Amazon – that would have control over and profit from music production. The collective, which would fall under the purview of the US Copyright Office, would be funded by a new fee on music services.
Other companies to support the bill include Google, Apple, Napster, Microsoft, Spotify, Pandora, and YouTube.
The Music Modernization Act would “destroy the private sectors’ progress by creating a federal mechanical license ‘collective’ which would collect payments and distribute them to the correct parties,” writes pro-Trump author Bryan Crabtree. “The bill is a solution in search of a problem…The creation of the collective threatens to pull the rug out of the marketplace, killing competition and establishing yet another monopoly in the music industry.”
As Crabtree points out, the government would choose only one or two beneficiaries – Amazon being a prime candidate (no pun intended).
The Music Modernization Act has already passed the House and the Senate Judiciary Committee. Senators are now debating a handful of amendments designed to encourage competition and avoid propping up a few Silicon Valley powerhouses.
As pro-Trump radio host Andrew Kaye points out, music licensing is a complicated issue most people don’t understand. “The intricacy of the issue benefits the corporate stakeholders, who use their lobbyists and advisers to shape legislation in their favor by working with congressional staff who often have little expertise in these complex issues. That appears to be the sleight of hand used in the Music Modernization Bill, and someone is going to profit handsomely if the bill is not amended by the Senate,” writes Kaye.
“Rather than foster the growing marketplace addressing this complex issue, the bill imposes a Washington top-down approach that ostensibly benefits crony lobbyists and corporations whiles short-circuiting creative innovators. It is a classic example of a backroom swamp deal that robs Peter to pay Paul. In this case, Peter is the American people, and Paul is the biggest crony actors in the music industry.”
Even if it passes the Senate, the bill would still have to be signed by President Trump (who we know isn’t a huge fan of Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos).
“The President was irate when he heard about this,” said an anonymous source close to the President. “He’s calling it ‘The Amazon Bill.’ There is no chance he will sign that bill that passed the House.”
Editor’s note: If history has taught us anything, its that the government should stay as far away from free enterprise as possible.