In the latest sign that music copyright reform could be on the horizon, a Senate version of the Music Modernization Act is expected to be filed on Wednesday. The Senate bill follows the House version filed in December. The legislation aims to improve digital royalty payouts to songwriters and publishers, while also greatly reducing the legal liability that streaming companies like Spotify and Apple Music have faced to license songs for use on their services. The NAB opposes some of its provisions.
If there were any lingering doubt about YouTube’s status as the biggest streaming music service on the planet, then this fact should dispel it: The Google-owned site has now paid out more than $1 billion in royalties to record labels (and other copyright owners, such as film studios and broadcast networks) for videos they didn’t even upload.