This Fall promises too many political dramas to count in Washington, DC, but for songwriters and the music business at large, one cliffhanger will directly effect their livelihoods. The Music Modernization Act, an effort to overhaul the nation’s archaic licensing and payment systems, will make a do-or-die dash to becoming law in September and early October. The industry is virtually united in supporting it, but on a volatile Capitol Hill, there are no guarantees for this high stakes bill.


After years of inertia and frustration over low royalty rates and out-of-date rules in the streaming era, songwriters are finally hearing promising news out of Washington DC.

Unlike just about anything else on Capitol Hill, the Music Modernization Act has deep support from both parties and virtually all of the stakeholders in digital music, from songwriters and publishers to tech giants. It was introduced in the House in December and in the Senate last month by a bipartisan group, including Tennessee’s Lamar Alexander and Bob Corker.


MURFREESBORO, Tenn. (BURRISS)  --  All the way back in 1811 a movement began in England which lent its name to people who are accused of being opposed to technological developments: Luddites. So serious was the movement that it was a death penalty offense for anyone convicted of destroying lace-making machinery.

So, at the risk of sounding like a Luddite, I have to say, “I told you so.”


MURFREESBORO, TENN. (BURRISS)  --  How many of you remember a long time ago when software companies tried all sorts of schemes to prevent piracy? There were key disks you had to periodically insert into your computer. There were access codes and there was copy protection. Eventually all of the schemes were cracked, but the supposed downfall of software companies never happened.