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Music Modernization Act Overhauls Music Licensing and Royalty Payments

Songs and musical works have been protected under the intellectual property laws of the United States since the 1830s, and third parties who wish to use or perform songs written by others must first get permission from the songwriter to do so. However, sound recordings did not enjoy federal copyright protection until 1972, resulting in older songs being subject to a patchwork of state copyright laws governing recordings, and new song recordings being treated differently under the law than the songs themselves.

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