As musicians from all respects gathered at the White House for the signing of the Music Modernization Act, country singers Craig Morgan and John Rich took the time to address the public and voice how important the new legislation is to them.
The bill seeks to bring current copyright laws into the modern day by keeping up with the growth of streaming music services like Spotify and Apple Music. It makes it easier for artists to be paid adequately for the new way that people digest their music.
“I got in the business to write songs, for me, this is especially near and dear. I left the army after almost 11 years of active duty, a couple conflicts because I wanted to be a songwriter and I thought that, when I started, that I’d make a lot of money. And I probably would have had we had this act then when I first started,” he said. “I don’t go back before ‘72, but we’re honored and I think it’s just something to say about... Everyone is talking about the discontent and the separation in our country right now and this is a bipartisan bill 100 percent. That’s amazing.”
Rich spoke next, talking about the historic signing, noting that it’s struggled to gain political momentum in the past until today.
“We always talk about music as the universal language, you wondered if that was still going to be the case in Washington D.C., where there is no universal language. We look up and see how hard people fought for this. In our state of Tennessee, Marsha Blackburn for years and years has been working on this,” Rich said. “To see President Trump finally sign this and it go into effect is so huge. It affects literally every songwriter.”
He continued: “Regular folks out there working that have this big American dream, that thing we all still believe in, to them it’s to be a songwriter. To know that you can have the American dream and not be compensated for that is not right and then to see that rectified today and know that every songwriter this day forward will have a fair shake and the playing field has been leveled is an incredible thing to be a part of.”
Also in attendance at the signing were stars like Kid Rock and Kanye West, the latter of which had a bizarre press conference with the president just before a lunch meeting.