WineAmerica, the national organization of American wineries, and its partner the MIC Coalition (Music, Innovators, Consumers) helped to recently introduce bipartisan legislation introduced yesterday by Representatives Jim Sensenbrenner (R-WI) and Suzan DelBene (D-WA) to establish a searchable, digital database of historical and current copyright ownership and licensing information to be housed in the Library of Congress.
The bipartisan Transparency in Music Licensing and Ownership Act is a major step forward in creating a music licensing system that is open and accessible to all stakeholders throughout the music economy – including more than 9,000 wineries located across all fifty states. For the overwhelming majority of wineries – many of which are family owned businesses that bring much needed economic benefit to their agricultural and rural communities – simplifying the music licensing experience is essential.
Currently, the lack of an authoritative public database makes it prohibitive for the majority of small family-owned wineries to understand which music licenses best fit their needs and make the most sense for their business. In some cases, wineries are declining to host live musicians rather than risk potential liability due to lack of up-to-date and actionable licensing information. According to WineAmerica’s 2016 industry survey, 32% of wineries in the U.S. have either canceled or are considering canceling their live music programs.
The Transparency in Music Licensing and Ownership Act is a major step forward in creating a music licensing system that is open and accessible to those who both own and license music. We are grateful to Congressman Sensenbrenner and our own Congresswoman DelBene for their leadership and supports the creation of a database that provides all stakeholders in the music marketplace with access to authoritative and fully searchable records of music ownership and licensing information, free-of-charge to users and updated in real time.