Music Modernization Act Is Getting Fast-Tracked In the Senate — With None of Sirius XM's Demands

Music Modernization Act Is Getting Fast-Tracked In the Senate — With None of Sirius XM's Demands

A modified version of the controversial Music Modernization Act is now getting fast-tracked in the Senate, with a new bill circulated Friday evening.

Some shrewd maneuvering is happening on Capitol Hill, with a fast-tracked vote for the Music Modernization Act potentially happening this week.  An updated version of the Music Modernization Act was circulated on Friday (September 13th) at roughly 6 pm ET, according to sources to Digital Music News.

The offices of all 100 Senators received the updated bill, as well as a quick one-sheet describing the measure.  We’ve included both below.

Our sources have told DMN that a quick vote could happen as quickly as Monday (September 17th), without the typical debate on the Senate floor.  The quick review is being made possible by a procedural trick called ‘hotlining,’ which is used to draw a quick vote and bypass normal review processes.

All of which is leaving Sirius XM Satellite Radio with little time to react.

According to an early read of the modified measure, none of Sirius’ demands were factored into the update.  Changes demanded by Blackstone Group and Senator Ron Wyden are incorporated, however, among other changes.  The CLASSICS Act, which is part of the MMA mega-bill, now appears to enjoy a number of statutes friendly to preservationists as it relates to older recordings, a big focus for Wyden.

But that’s just a cursory review.  This is a huge bill, with lots of potential updates and changes reflected in the latest reading.  The changes will take hours to thoroughly vet — which might be exactly the point.  In fact, by the time we’ve gone through all of the detailed changes, the ‘hotline’ vote may have already occurred!

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If successful, the maneuver would shuttle the MMA back towards the House of Representatives, which would approve the modified measure.  Then, it’s off to the White House for signature.

But there’s a catch: in order for a bill to successfully ‘hotline,’ all 100 Senators must vote yes on the measure.  Among lawmakers, that’s called ‘unanimous consent’.  But if there are any serious objections, the fast-track can be scuttled and sent back in line.

At last count, more than 73 senators supported the MMA, and backers of the bill are obviously confident of a unanimous vote.