National Music Publishers Association

The National Music Publishers' Association (NMPA) is a trade association for the American music publishing industry. Founded in 1917, the NMPA aims to "protect its members' property rights on the legislative, litigation, and regulatory fronts."[2]

National Music Publishers' Association
Formation1917 (1917)
TypeTrade association
President and CEO
David Israelite[1]
Board of Directors
Martin Bandier
Caroline Bienstock
Jody Gerson
Lee Eastman
Willard Ahdritz
Barry Coburn
Neil Gillis
Zach Katz
Chip McLean
Justin Kalifowitz
Leeds Levy
David Renzer
Ralph Peer, II
Matt Pincus
Irwin Z. Robinson
Jody Klein
Cameron Strang
Golnar Khosrowshahi

The NMPA has pursued litigation against numerous organizations, including Amway,[3] YouTube, Kazaa, LimeWire, FullScreen[4] and Napster.


First half of the 20th century

The NMPA was founded in 1917 as the Music Publishers' Protective Association, seeking to end the practice of publishers having to pay vaudeville theaters for performing their music. The payola was said to have reached $400,000.[5] The MPPA mandate went into effect May 7, 1917.[6] Founding firms included:

In 1927, the NMPA founded the Harry Fox Agency, a mechanical rights collecting society.[7]

Second half of the 20th century

In 1966 the name of the Music Publishers' Protective Association was changed to the National Music Publishers Association. The NMPA lobbies federal legislators and regulators on behalf of music publishers and crafted guidelines for the Copyright Act of 1976.[8]

21st century

In September 2001, the NMPA reached a settlement with Napster, turning the company into a fee-based service with publishers licensing music to the users.[9] The NMPA won a judgment against peer-to-peer filing service StreamCast Networks in September 2006.[10] In 2007, NMPA joined a lawsuit against YouTube for hosting user-generated videos containing music under copyright. The suit was dropped four years later.[11][12]

Along with the Music Publishers' Association (MPA), the NMPA has been responsible for taking many free guitar tablature web sites offline. NMPA President David Israelite asserted that "[u]nauthorised use of lyrics and tablature deprives the songwriter of the ability to make a living, and is no different than stealing".[13] The NMPA also pushed for rate hikes for legal downloads of music in 2008.[14]

In 2010, the NMPA represented EMI, Sony/ATV, Universal and Warner/Chappell, Bug, MPL Communications, Peermusic and the Richmond Organization in a lawsuit against LimeWire. The suit sought $150,000 for each song that was distributed.[15]

NMPA is a member of the International Intellectual Property Alliance, a business alliance which amongst others publishes the Special 301 Report, a controversial list of countries that the coalition of copyright holders feel do not do enough to combat copyright infringements.[16]

In 2015, the NMPA sold the Harry Fox Agency to SESAC.[17]

In December 2016, the NMPA announced that it had reached an agreement to with YouTube to allow the distribution of royalties for musical works used in videos on YouTube where ownership was previously unknown.[18]

See also


  1. Plambeck, Joseph (June 16, 2010). "Internet File-Sharing Service Is Sued by Music Publishers". The New York Times. Retrieved December 12, 2011.
  2. "NMPA Mission Statement". National Music Publishers Association. Archived from the original on October 30, 2009. Retrieved December 12, 2011.
  3. Amway: The Untold Story: NMPA (Press release), 25 November 2006.
  4. "National Music Publishers Association Files Copyright Infringement Suit Against Fullscreen". Billboard. Retrieved 2015-11-25.
  5. "BMI Counsel Deals With 'Puff' Tales"Billboard, April 21, 1958, pg. 3
  6. "Song Payments End This Week," Variety, May 4, 1917, pg. 3
  7. "About HFA". Harry Fox Agency. Retrieved December 12, 2011.
  8. Frankel, James (2009). The Teacher's Guide to Music, Media, and Copyright Law. New York: Hal Leonard. p. 82. ISBN 978-1-4234-4344-5.
  9. "Early History of Napster", by Moya K. Mason, 2010
  10. Jones, K. C. (August 7, 2007). "Music Publishers Sue YouTube". InformationWeek. Retrieved December 12, 2011.
  11. "Music Publishers to Join YouTube Suit". The New York Times. Associated Press. August 7, 2007. Retrieved December 12, 2011.
  12. Lang, Brent (August 17, 2011). "Music Publishers Drop Copyright Suit Against YouTube". TheWrap. Retrieved December 12, 2011.
  13. Youngs, Ian (December 12, 2005). "Song sites face legal crackdown". BBC News. Retrieved December 12, 2011.
  14. Albanesius, Chloe (October 2, 2008). "Music-Download Royalty Rates Left Unchanged". PC Magazine. Retrieved December 12, 2011.
  15. Mick, Jason (June 18, 2010). "New Suit Against Limewire Could Total 15 Times Music Industry's Yearly Income". Daily Tech. Retrieved December 12, 2011.
  16. Masnick, Mike (February 24, 2010). "IIPA's Section 301 Filing Shows It's Really Not At All Interested In Reducing Copyright Infringement". Tech Dirt. Retrieved December 12, 2011.
  17. "SESAC Finalizes Acquisition of Harry Fox Agency". Billboard. Retrieved 2015-11-25.
  18. Chris Cooke, "NMPA announces deal with YouTube over unpaid song royalties,", December 9, 2016
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