Kid Rock and John Rich Visit the White House for Landmark Music Bill Signing

President Donald Trump helped to update copyright laws, which will help artists to get what they are owed for their work

Image Credit: Shutterstock

Kanye West was not the only musician to visit the White House on Thursday.

Both Kid Rock and John Rich were seen at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. on Thursday morning before President Donald Trump’s meeting with West.

The two musicians were there for the signing of the Orrin G. Hatch-Bob Goodlatte Music Modernization Act, legislation that updates music and copyright laws.

“Huge day for American Music Creators! Headed to the #WhiteHouse to watch @realDonaldTrump sign the #MusicModernizationAct into law! @VoteMarsha was instrumental in getting this passed! Thank you Marsha! You fought hard for the songwriters,” wrote John Rich on Twitter before going to the White House.

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Rich competed on — and won — Trump’s reality competition series “The Celebrity Apprentice” in 2011. He is a former member of the country duo Big & Rich and has had hits on his own, including “Shuttin’ Detroit Down.”

The Music Modernization Act is considered a milestone for the music industry.

The updating of copyright laws allows artists to receive royalties on songs released before 1972 and makes it easier for artists to collect on royalties owed by streaming services by going through an independent entity.

“Everybody knows this business of music is a very dirty business,” Kid Rock said after the signing. “There’s a lot more that needs to be done here. We need to go after the record labels next, and things like free goods. 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.”

“They were treated very unfairly,” President Trump said about musicians who had previously been taken advantage of because of loopholes in the laws.

Many within the music industry praised Trump’s actions.

Horacio Gutierrez, Spotify’s general counsel and vice president of business and legal affairs, said in a statement: “One of our core missions at Spotify is to enable a million artists to make a good living from what they love: creating and performing music. The Music Modernization Act is a huge step toward making that a reality, modernizing the outdated licensing system to suit the digital world we live in. The MMA will benefit the music community and create a more transparent and streamlined approach to music licensing and payment for artists.”

Neil Portnow, president and CEO of the Recording Academy, said: “With the president’s signature today, the Music Modernization Act is officially the law of the land. As we celebrate the harmony and unity that got us here, we applaud the efforts of the thousands of performers, songwriters, and studio professionals who rallied for historic change to ensure all music creators are compensated fairly when their work is used by digital and satellite music services. We thank the members of Congress who championed this issue throughout the past several years to bring music law into the 21st century.”

National Music Publishers Association President and CEO David Israelite, President of the Music Business Association James Donio, and ASCAP CEO Elizabeth Matthews were among others to put out positive statements in reaction to the bill being signed.

Also in attendance at the signing were Sam Moore of Sam & Dave and Jeff “Skunk” Baxter of The Doobie Brothers.

Though it was a serious accomplishment for the music industry and the country as a whole, plenty of folks had fun on social media with the fact that rockers like Kid Rock were visiting the White House.

See more about the new Music Modernization Act below:

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