WASHINGTON – Mike Love of the Beach Boys told PJM it’s “high time” for modern musicians to express “a lot more love” in their music.
“I have a song and an album that’s called Unleash the Love and I think it’s high time a lot more love is expressed. I mean, you can have differences of opinion but you don’t have to be at each other’s throats and hate each other’s guts, so that’s my simple philosophy is to be a little more respectful,” Love said during an interview before ASCAP’s recent “We Write The Songs” concert at the Library of Congress.
Love and other musicians like singer-songwriter Jason Mraz performed at the concert and advocated for senators to support the Music Modernization Act, which recently passed in the House and was approved by the Senate Judiciary Committee before lawmakers left for the Independence Day recess.
According to Billboard, the bill’s “most dramatic change is creating a blanket mechanical license and an agency to assign rights and collect royalty payments and performance reports from digital services to assure proper payments to songwriters and publishers.”
House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) told PJM the legislation is “really important” because it “brings our copyright laws and our music licensing into the 21st century, and this is something we’ve been working on for many years and it’s long, long overdue.”
“We haven’t had a major revision of our music licensing and music copyright laws in four decades, so it’s time,” Goodlatte said.
Digital Media Association CEO Chris Harrison has said his organization supports the legislation.
“The Music Modernization Act is a great step forward, bringing greater transparency through a blanket license, which is critical to a modern, efficient licensing system,” he said in a statement, according to a Billboard.com report. “Digital streaming services have saved the music industry, delivering consumers better experiences and better value, and growing revenue for creators. The MMA will ensure fans and artists can take full advantage of streaming to create, discover, and enjoy the music they love. The music industry is streaming forward, and we will continue to work with Congress to enable the industry to move away from the music mess of the past.”
The Compensating Legacy Artists for their Songs, Service, & Important Contributions to Society Act (CLASSIC Act) is incorporated into the Music Modernization Act, which Love explained would help “legacy” artists.
“Some of the broadcasters don’t have to pay anything, which is, for a person who is in a group with most of their hits in the ’60s, that’s pretty rough, but the Music Modernization Act itself will help make it more fair for songwriters and publishers, who are the very backbone of the music industry,” Love said, referring to part of the legislation that would establish federal “performance rights” to records made prior to 1972.
“We’re talking about something apolitical, just fair; in other words, to treat the songwriters fair. And many artists have their own political opinions, but this is not about that. It’s just about treating writers fairly,” he added.
In a recent interview with PJM, Grammy Award-winning musician Emilio Estefan said that technological changes are going to benefit musicians.
“It’s going to help people because now your music can go worldwide. Sales are not the same, but it’s going to change drastically because you’ll have technology help the future and that’s what I’m hoping for,” Estefan said at the Atlantic Council’s Distinguished Leadership Awards where his wife, Grammy Award-winner Gloria Estefan, was honored.
PJM asked Estefan if he thinks streaming services like Spotify, Amazon Music and Apple Music are helping or hurting the music industry overall.
“Streaming is going to be difficult now and the future is going to be great because what will happen is you will be able to reach India, Thailand, Japan. And as long as people can collect and make some money out of that – because musicians are going through a rough time now and the industry is going through a rough time – but in the long run the main thing is people can enjoy music and be able to sing great music,” he said.
Estefan was also asked if he agrees with legendary music producer Quincy Jones, who has said that melody is missing in the music industry.
“He’s the godfather of my daughter, but you know something, yeah, he’s right, and even reggaeton is changing now with ‘Despacito’ – that made it all different because it had melody and a lot of syncopation but at the same time made people dance,” Estefan said. “So he’s right – Quincy is never wrong.”