President Trump Participates in a Signing Ceremony for H.R. 1551, the “Orrin G. Hatch-Bob Goodlatte Music Modernization Act”…

H.R. 1551 The Music Modernization Act – closes loopholes in our digital royalty laws to ensure that songwriters, artists, producers, and providers receive fair payment for the licensing of music.


[White House ] 11:57 A.M. EDT – THE PRESIDENT: I know you’ve been waiting for this for a long time, you folks. Right? For a long time. Hi, Shelley. Hi, everybody. They’ve been working on this for years and years and years. And I guess certain entertainers have been taken advantage of — but no longer, because of Trump. Can you believe it? (Laughter.) Who would think? Who would think?

But I’m thrilled — I know so many of you. I mean, it’s just great. And I definitely know your music, and you’ve done a great job.

I’m thrilled to welcome all of you to the White House today and the signing of the Hatch–Goodlatte — you know Hatch and you know Goodlatte, don’t you? Terrific guys. I didn’t know you liked music that much, Orrin. (Laughter.) Huh? The Hatch-Goodlatte Music Modernization Act. This is a landmark bill — they’ve been looking for it for many, many years — to protect the intellectual property and creative genius of America’s incredible musicians.

Thank you to Secretary Wilbur Ross for being here and for working so hard to get this done. I especially want to thank one of the bill’s lead sponsors, an accomplished musician and songwriter in his own right — which I heard, but I haven’t heard his music. I’ll let you know when I hear his music. (Laughter.) The legendary Senator Orrin Hatch. It’s been 44 years. How long have you been in the Senate?


THE PRESIDENT: Forty-two. Oh, I thought it was forty-four. Forty-two is nothing. That’s pretty good.

SENATOR HATCH: Feels like 44. (Laughter.)

THE PRESIDENT: Feels like 44. And he’s been my friend, and he’s been a great, great senator.

I also want to thank another friend of mine, Bob Goodlatte, for his tremendous leadership at the helm of the House Judiciary Committee. Very instrumental on this.

Let me also recognize and thank Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley. Everybody knows Chuck now. He’s become more famous in the last two weeks. What a job you did. Was that easy, Chuck, or tough?

SENATOR GRASSLEY: No, it was not easy. (Laughter.)

THE PRESIDENT: I thought you were going to say that. You made it look easier than it was. Chuck is an incredible man. As well as Senators Lamar Alexander, Shelley Moore Capito, Chris Coons, Sheldon Whitehouse, and Congressmen Darrell Issa, Doug Collins, and — Jerry Nadler was going to be here but he couldn’t make it. I don’t know what happened to him. I’m shocked. I’m shocked.

We’re also joined by truly amazing artists and people I’ve known for a long time — people everyone knows — including Kid Rock. Kid, thank you. Great job. Do you like this legislation or do you hate it?

MR. RITCHIE: Like it.

THE PRESIDENT: He’s been fighting for a long time.

I want to welcome Christian rock group MercyMe. Also joining me is — gee, so many of these people, I’ve been with them — are famed guitarist from the Doobie Brothers and Steely Dan, Jeff Baxter. Jeff, thank you very much. Mike Love, I’ve heard him many times. Many times. He’s — The Beach Boys. Where is Mike? Mike — come here, Mike. Boy, that’s something, huh? You like this, right?

MR. LOVE: I love it.

THE PRESIDENT: Good. Mike Love. Been a friend of mine. The Beach Boys are — look, what can you say about The Beach Boys? Great music.

We have some great country artists with us, including Craig Morgan and my good friend John Rich of Big and Rich. He happened to win “The Apprentice,” but we won’t even get into that. (Laughter.) I know him better than anybody. I’m the one — week after week, it was “John Rich, you’re going to make it.” I said “you’re fired” to everybody but John Rich, right? Huh?

MR. RICH: Yes, sir, thank you.

THE PRESIDENT: Great job. Great guy. Really good guy. And good under — he’s good under pressure, which is very nice.

We also have Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Sam Moore, who is having a big birthday. Sam and Dave. But having a big birthday today. Today is your birthday?

MR. MOORE: Today is my birthday.

THE PRESIDENT: Eighty-three?

MR. MOORE: Promise to keep your golf game going.

THE PRESIDENT: My golf game? He looks good. (Laughter.) Eighty-three. That means there’s a future for us. (Laughter.) That’s great, Sam. Great to have you here.

The legislation has wide support throughout the music industry, and I am very pleased that so many industry leaders, also over here — I won’t call all the names, but some real leaders of industry are here with us for the enactment of this critical legislation.

I see Neil Portnow, who, in the world of music, is big stuff. He’s the President and CEO of the Recording Academy, also known as the Grammys. Where is he? Thank you. Very good. Thank you for being here. I appreciate it very much. Thank you very much, Neil.

The Music Modernization Act closes loopholes in our digital royalty laws to ensure that songwriters, artists, producers, and providers receive fair payment for the licensing of music. I’ve been reading about this for many years. Never thought I’d be involved in it, but I got involved in it. They were treated very unfairly. They’re not going to be treated unfairly anymore. Streaming has made music more accessible than ever, yet our laws have not kept up with the pace of technology. As such, artists of all varieties and all career stages are losing out on revenue that they have rightly earned. And I guess especially from four or five, six years ago, and beyond.

This legislation will help ensure that artists from eras long ago, in addition to modern day, can retire in security, and that current and upcoming artists can make a living by creating amazing works that captivate their fans and entertain our nation — and the world. Because this is really the world we’re talking about.

This legislation creates a single licensing system for reasons of simplicity, for digital music providers, so that music is more quickly licensed and paid for. Ensures that American songwriters receive fair market value when their songs are streamed or purchased online. Sets a standard licensing rate for digital performances.

Why aren’t some of you guys performing for us today free? (Laughter.) We should have done that, senators. I’ll tell you. We should have gotten some — Shelley, we should have gotten a little free music out of this. (Laughter.) They could have — they could give us a great concert, this group.

Sets a standard licensing rate for digital performance and recordings, and applies that very same standard to music recorded before 1972. And creates a procedure for producers, engineers, and other participants in the recording and music industry to collect performance royalties.

This legislation passed both houses of Congress unanimously. How did you do that? (Laughter.) See? Bipartisan. Second one. We just did the Clean Oceans Act with Dan Sullivan and — he’s around. Dan? And with Sheldon Whitehouse. We just signed that. And that was — I think we had one negative vote, didn’t you? Did we have one?


THE PRESIDENT: Unanimous. So we just did two unanimous bills. Who says we can’t pass unanimous? Who said we don’t have bipartisan? It is bipartisan. But this legislation passed both houses unanimously.

Fair payment for intellectual property is essential to maintain America’s longstanding position as the world leader in music and entertainment. And when they say “world leader,” it’s world leader, by far. It’s not even close.

This legislation accomplishes that goal by updating our licensing laws to reflect the significant growth in streaming and digital music.

Today, we build on America’s rich cultural and musical legacy, which brings joy and meaning to countless millions and millions and millions of Americans, and beyond, frankly. And beyond.

So with that, I’m pleased to sign the Hatch-Goodlatte Music Modernization Act. It’s my honor. Hearing about it for so many years, and we’re finally getting it done. And these people are going to become even richer than they are, but that’s okay. (Laughter.) Because they really were — they were treated very unfairly. A lot of people got nothing. They’d do an incredible song and they’d end up getting nothing. They’d create some of the most incredible music, some great music, and they would not be able to benefit. And that sounded — always sounded very unfair. And that’s why you had a unanimous consent.

So thank you all for being here. It’s an honor. And I’ll go and sign the paper, and then you go on and do what you have to do. And, Kid, thank you very much, man. It’s great. (Applause.)

(The bill is signed.)

Got it. We’re done. (Applause.)

How about if I asked Bob Goodlatte and Orrin Hatch to say a couple of words. Do you mind? And what this means. And I’m also going to hand out the pen. Who should get the first pen?

PARTICIPANT: Sam! It’s his birthday.

THE PRESIDENT: Okay, let’s give it to Sam. (Applause.)

MR. MOORE: Why, thank you.

THE PRESIDENT: Sam, say a couple of words. Go ahead. You want to speak?

MR. MOORE: Thank you, everyone. I got to tell you, this is a historic moment. I’m so proud. When Mr. Bush was in, we couldn’t get it done. When we had Mr. Obama in, we couldn’t get it done. But we got it done with this man. (Laughter.)

Thank you so much. Thank you, everybody. (Applause.)


MR. LOVE: Thank you, President Trump. Thank you so much for your support of music, historically. I remember you tried your best to help get Whitney Houston in some kind of shape.


MR. LOVE: And it was — yeah, I remember being at Mar-a-Lago with this guy right here. He had Ron Perlman come down. He had — he tried your best to help Whitney.


MR. LOVE: And she’s not the only one you’ve benefitted and tried. And people are going to say what they want, but you’ve always been a big supporter of some of the best music that America has ever made.

THE PRESIDENT: Thank you very much.

MR. LOVE: And you’re right when you say it’s beyond. We remember going to Czechoslovakia six months after the Russians invaded. And because of our music — because of America and the freedom that we represented, you know, we were, like, welcomed like heroes. All we were doing was playing our songs.

But it meant a lot to people all over the world. And so we appreciate you and Senator Hatch and Goodlatte. Darrell Issa, he’s been involved with the pre-’72 stuff, and that’s very near and dear to my heart. (Laughter.)

THE PRESIDENT: Darrell is a good man.

MR. LOVE: Yeah, he’s great. Thank you. Thank you, President Trump. (Applause.)

MR. RICH: Thank you. You know, I am really encouraged by today because we all know how divided our country is. We see it every single day. And to see that music is the one thing that can get unanimous consent in the Senate, in the House, in the state I live in in Tennessee — Marsha Blackburn has been pounding away at this for years. NSAI, pounding away at this for years.

And to see it come together and know that it affects all these artists and all these genres — the full political spectrum of artists are impacted. Kanye West, who you’re going to see. Kid Rock, Sam Moore, Taylor Swift, Big and Rich — you name it. Everybody is impacted by this.

So thank you very much for signing it. Thank you. (Applause.)

THE PRESIDENT: Thank you very much.

MR. RITCHIE: Uh oh, I got the mic. (Laughter.)

THE PRESIDENT: This could be good.

MR. RITCHIE: This could be good. No, but I think we should start with, you know, I’d just like to bring it up that there’s a whole lot of people in this country that do give you a lot of credit for everything you’ve been doing for this country.


MR. RITCHIE: That we know that some people don’t give it to you as much as maybe they should sometimes.

A big part of this bill that I’m a huge fan of is for the unsung songwriters out there. There’s so many who have written the songs that no one will ever see at any level. And everybody knows this business of music is a pretty dirty business. There’s a lot more that needs to be done here, and we need to go after the record companies next for things like free goods and things like that.

But this is a great start to protect songwriters, producers, engineers — the unsung heroes behind many of these songs that go out there. People like myself who are maybe more at the top of the food chain, it really doesn’t affect as much. But I know many people it does affect. So this is going to help out in a big, big way, and be a great start for, hopefully, a lot of more following in the future. So thank you again.

THE PRESIDENT: Thank you, Kid. (Applause.)

MR. BAXTER: You know, this is in the Constitution. This is in the Constitution. Patented language (inaudible). Congratulations.

THE PRESIDENT: That’s right. That’s right.


SENATOR HATCH: Well, Mr. President, once again, it’s — thank you.

MR. BAXTER: Songwriter. Absolutely. (Applause.)

SENATOR HATCH: Mr. President, I’m honored to be here with you, as always. And I’m honored to be with these great songwriters and musicians who really haven’t been able to receive all the recognition they deserve.

This is a very important bill. It’s going to renew the interest in music throughout the country and throughout the world. And we’ve had a lot of help from a lot of good people, including the senators and Congress people standing here. Bob Goodlatte carried this through the House, and I’m just very grateful to him. I’m grateful to all of you.

But, Mr. President, we’re grateful to you. You’re making a real hell of a difference in this country. It’s a good difference. And we all — you’re getting both sides to — (inaudible). (Applause.)


SENATOR GOODLATTE: Mr. President, you’re doing a lot of things to make America great again. And signing this bill is one of them. And it is something that has been needed for decades. This has been a situation where the music licensing system in this country hasn’t worked fairly. And I’m honored to have my name associated with it. I’m honored to have my name associated with Senator Hatch. But this is an effort of a lot of people all across this country, in the Congress and out of the Congress, over a long time.

So thank you for putting the finishing touch on it. It’s going to do a lot of good for a lot of great people.


Lamar, do you want to say something?

SENATOR ALEXANDER: Thank you, Mr. President, for your leadership. There are tens of thousands of taxi drivers, waitresses, music teachers in Tennessee and across this country who are riding the bus out to their work and hoping they’ll write a big number-one hit one day. And what this means is that when they do, they’ll get paid, and they’ll get paid a fair market value.

So I’m grateful to the entire range of the music industry for coming together on what they agree on, putting aside what they don’t, and then working with this whole range of those of us in Congress who wanted to make this happen.

This is a great day, Mr. President. And thank you for your support and for calling attention to the music that, as John says, unifies our state and our country.

THE PRESIDENT: Thank you very much. (Applause.)

END – 12:15 P.M. EDT

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51 Responses to President Trump Participates in a Signing Ceremony for H.R. 1551, the “Orrin G. Hatch-Bob Goodlatte Music Modernization Act”…

  1. Well, maybe the entertainment industry will only hate the President for 23 hours of the day.

    Liked by 9 people

    • fleporeblog says:

      Sad 😔 but true! It is absolutely amazing what our President is able to do versus his predecessors. I can’t understand how the Bush and BHO Administrations were not able to get this done especially when yo consider the vote in the House and the Senate was 100% unanimous.

      Our President says at his rallies that he is able to get Bills passed that weren’t able to get passed for decades. This is a perfect example of it. When you put the American citizens above everyone else, you can do anything. God Bless you President Trump!

      Liked by 12 people

      • WonkoTheSane says:

        David Lowery was instrumental in pushing this through. He’s worked tirelessly for years. Poor guy is having a hard time giving The President credit. @davidclowery

        Liked by 2 people

        • Angry Dumbo says:

          Camper Van Beethoven was one of my favorite college bands and I still listen to Cracker. Lowery is a good guy, he is just in a tough place with the industry. I am sure he is pleased with the result, just can’t give the President credit. Too bad.

          Lowery does not want to get the Ye treatment. Lowery is not so bold.


      • thesavvyinvester says:

        “I can’t understand how the Bush and BHO Administrations were not able to get this done especially when you consider the vote in the House and the Senate was 100% unanimous. “

        Flep, is this something to do w/ Harry Reid’s Nuclear Option? Cloture was the nightmare, a vote to vote and you needed 60 for debate. Did his exercising this option now allow things to get to the Senate floor w/ just 51? How are we getting around the slow-walk of Smucky Chumer? What am I missing about Senatorial procedures and rules as the House never was the issue, the Bottleneck always was the Senate. Thanks in advance to you and all Treepers as to the how’s and why’s of the mechanics of this and why it is working now.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Publius2016 says:

        Simple…President Trump and his Team of Patriots look at the possibilities and work from there…those others 43 and 44 look at the pie and say I want mine…they grab their piece gobble it down and leave the crumbs for everyone else to clean up! Win Win Win is for everyone if it’s America First!!

        Liked by 2 people

    • mimbler says:

      Just one hour of this day though. They won’t hold any gratitude by tomorrow,

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Free Speech says:

    I don’t know what the long term impact of this will be, but I like it. I hope it brings back MUSICIANSHIP instead of all these untalented microwave pop tarts we’ve been inundated with the last 15-20 years. If musicians can get paid for their music and talent instead of the David Geffens of the world controlling it all, the nation will benefit culturally.

    Liked by 15 people

    • Deplorable_Infidel says:

      “instead of the David Geffens of the world controlling it all”

      About 15 years ago I went to see jazz drummer Dave Weckl. He said after ~20+ years as a musician, he still did not own the rights to his own music (or something along those lines).
      The issue was the prohibition of videotaping his performance at the Tralfamadore Cafe in Buffalo, NY.


    • Deplorable Patriot says:

      When you are contracted to one of the big labels, they own you. They not only own the copyrights, but what you are allowed to publish under your name as an artist in a lot of cases. But I’m not sure that’s the issue here. It’s more streaming without a license. Most articles on the topic are not heavy on the details. And the “artists” at the ceremony are the pop, R&B, Hip Hop sorts. I really would like to know what this means for classical and recording repertoire that is in the public domain as most of the literature before Dvorak is.

      Liked by 3 people

      • WonkoTheSane says:

        I don’t think it changes anything in the public domain. It mostly takes care of some issues with how streaming companies pay writers and publishers who own the rights to their work.


  3. cdnintx says:

    Amazing moment when Mike Love of the Beach Boys gives recognition to Pres. Trump for trying to help Whitney Houston and others. This is the authentic heart of our magnificent President.

    Liked by 13 people

  4. nimrodman says:

    Next time John Legend pops off, can I point him to this article?

    Liked by 6 people

  5. RyderLee says:

    Reading this made me Happy
    that Our President Trump was Surrounded
    by All the Positivity of the Participants attending the signing !
    Everyone had something GOOD To Say !
    How Refreshing 😊

    Liked by 6 people

  6. Jeff C-C says:

    Our president is as astounding as ever. How they all could be so comfortable and relaxed after what they went through the past month . . . wow.

    Liked by 3 people

  7. Dances with Wolverines says:

    Make Music Great Again!


  8. KittyKat says:

    That was fun and uplifting to watch and the legislation that he signed will make a positive difference in many lives.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. jmclever says:

    I wonder if any descendants of Motown artists will benefit? I read once that many of those artists died destitute.

    Liked by 2 people

    • InAz says:


      My thoughts exactly!!

      Many Motown artists and the house band were destitute. Barry Gordy really abused his employees.

      There was abuse in the entire music industry.

      Liked by 3 people

  10. WonkoTheSane says:

    This is a really, really big deal for songwriters. Some of the artists that have been pushing it are having a really hard time giving The President credit for signing it into law. Funny, because their hero O wasn’t the least bit interested. I haven’t dug into this in a while, and I know the bill has changed quite a bit, but it supposedly protects producers as well as songwriters. Good news for me…I just finished producing an album for a band, and I’m in the process of recording an album for my own band. I’ve actually recorded a lot of my own songs and kept them safely tucked away on non-networked equipment just waiting for this day to come. Like I said, I need to dig into it and figure out the specifics, but maybe, just maybe I can start doing a little side hustle as a songwriter and producer!

    Liked by 12 people

  11. Mike diamond says:

    Right On President Trump gets things done ! Also right on Wilbur Ross ! I love Hank Williams jrs,New song,called take a knee take a hike.

    Liked by 5 people

  12. thLuckyOne says:

    Y’see, Sundance? Y’see how you are? You not only bring us the important news that we NEED to know, you also bring us the heartfelt love stories that do us GOOD to know. You make me more grateful than ever that you don’t seem to mind me lurking around and just popping up every now and then to say “THANK YOU! GOD BLESS YOU, SUNDANCE!” and “LOVE TO ALL YOU PRECIOUS TREEPERS!” Maga on with your bad self!

    Liked by 4 people

  13. Anon says:

    Copyright law has been moving in the wrong direction for decades. That it was unanimous is even more disturbing. The entertainment industry already soaks too much of the average income. And public opinion is broadly against extending copyrights.


    • WonkoTheSane says:

      The DMCA was an abomination. I’m not sure how this is going to work out, but songwriters and producers have been getting the short shrift for quite a while–since the advent of the internet and songs becoming free. I don’t think this resolves the issue of anyone being able to upload my songs to youtube for the world to hear without my permission, but I believe it does streamline payments and bring much needed transparency to the process of how streaming companies handle royalties. More needs to be done, but this is a good first step.

      Liked by 2 people

    • cthulhu says:

      Anything dealing with congress and copyrights raises the hair on my neck, as well. As wikipedia illustrates at — copyright was widely seen for centuries as being valid for the productive life of the composer. It was somewhere about 50 years.

      Beginning in 1962, the term of a copyright was increasingly geared toward corporate ownership, with long extensions of copyright even for previously composed works. A lot of the funding for this has been provided by the Walt Disney organization — and, famously, Mickey Mouse is still under copyright despite having debuted in 1928 (all artistic expressions prior to 1923 have expired copyrights and are in the public domain). The current term for copyrights is in excess of 100 years.

      On the flip side, there is certainly room for improvement from standard recording industry practices in decades gone by. I just hope that the bipartisan support this bill gathered was not due to the all-too-common Washington “screw-the-public” mindset.


  14. What a great story in the middle of all of this political drama. I wonder if Taylor Swift will have a change of heart towards POTUS and who he advocates for. I remember when she was battling with Spotify over how much she would earn if they played her songs. Obama (king of music and singing///) didn’t do anything to help her but VSGPOTUS did.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. skeinster says:

    Honey, didn’t your mama tell you to take your hat off in the house? Especially the White House?
    Ye- I’m looking at you and your MAGA cap, too.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. JohninMK says:

    Being pretty cynical about the rip-off nature of the music business and its lobby power in DC, my instincts twitch at the unanimous votes in favour. Unless the Bill reverses the signed away rights of the songwriters (lyrics and music) the real beneficiaries will be the owners of those rights, most of which are now owned by the mega Corporations A few songwriters escaped the net and slipped through their greedy fingers.

    Probably the biggest winners are the big name bands who had the muscle to keep their rights. Amongst the small guy and gal winners will be the performers (rather than the writers) most of whom will have retained their rights.

    The losers will be those rights owners who sold out over the past few years never expecting this Bill or similar to pass.


    • WonkoTheSane says:

      I was following this pretty closely a while back, and a lot has changed since then, but I can tell you the people who were pushing it (David Lowery first and foremost) were fighting against the music business and its lobby power. I don’t think it helps people who signed away their rights. Not much can be done about that. The biggest winners are independent songwriters and producers who want to get paid by the streaming services…spotify et al.

      Liked by 1 person

  17. rbrtsmth says:

    What does Tay Tay say say?


  18. MAGAbear says:

    Jeff “Skunk” Baxter, one of the guitar greats. Cool to see him up there with PDJT. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  19. teeheeman says:

    This is really positive and heart-warming. I help run a good-sized digital music company in the Midwest and this is great news for the music industry. I’d like to give a shout out to NSAI in Nashville and NMPA in NYC who are both great industry organizations. Also a bipartisan shout out to congress – YOU DONE GOOD! As I’ve told many folks, the odds of IP/copyright reform are higher than they have ever been with this administration. Now….ONTO A CHINA DEAL AND THEIR IP INFRINGERS!!!

    Liked by 3 people

  20. Jenevive says:

    I find it interesting how the press/left is going crazy
    over Kanye and Kid Rock being at the White House
    yet Mike Love of the Beach Boys was also there (for the same
    event as Kid Rock) and Mike Love said nice things about
    the President and they aren;t bad talking him in anyway..


  21. You’re welcome, Bette, Cher, John and Taylor.


  22. Jimmy Jack says:

    What a day folks, what a day.

    I’m thankful for this not only bc I believe in protecting American intellectual property but bc my better half is a professional musician and the technological changes have made it impossible for emerging artists to make money off their work. A lot of what you hear on the radio is the result of computer algorithms determining what is going do be popular – it’s why everything today sounds the same. America has a tremendous musical tradition and I hope this helps foment greater creativity.

    Love that Czechoslovakia story. And if you like Christian music Mercy Me is a great band.

    Liked by 1 person

  23. Gotta share a story with my fellow Treepers regarding music.

    In the sixties, my father started and ran a well known Jazz festival, recorded 100+ jazz albums. It was during a similar period of unrest (think Woodstock, riots all over the country, etc.). My mother asked one of the famous musicians what the solution to all the unrest was, and he said–“Music, it is the universal language”.

    I’ve never forgotten that.


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