Second Stimulus Grants Relief for Musicians, Venues

National Independent Talent Organization (NITO), the non-profit organization comprised of over 100 independent booking agencies and 140 independent management firms are pleased to announce that the Save Our Stages Act passed Congress late last night as part of the FY '21 Omnibus and COVID relief legislation.

Save Our Stages:

Save Our Stages Act provides up to $15 billion that can be disbursed in grants through the Small Business Administration for venues that can show they have lost more than 25% of revenue, dedicated to funding independent movie theaters, talent representatives and cultural institutions.

Sen. John Cornyn, R-TX, Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-MN, Rep. Peter Welch, D-VT, and Rep. Roger Williams, R-TX, introduced the Save Our Stages Act in the Senate and House of Representatives, respectively, in July.

The Case Act:

The CASE Act benefits songwriters and publishers, allowing them to press copyright infringement claims without going through an expensive lawsuit. It creates a three-judge panel Copyright Claims Board at the Copyright Office that would hear and rule on claims where damages would be capped at $15,000 per claim and $30,000 in total. The United States Copyright Office has one year to establish the Copyright Claims Board, unless the Register of Copyrights extends the time period for up to an additional 180 days for good cause.

The Protecting Lawful Streaming Act:

In another move, Congress made streaming of copyrighted work without the proper licensing a felony, which would allow the Dept. of Justice to file charges against digital services that provide such material for financial gain, but excludes individual users from being prosecuted under the law.

Also included in this relief bill, is the extension of Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) and another round of Payroll Protection Program (PPP). These will help many hardworking individuals across the US, in and out of the live music industry, who have lost their jobs and livelihoods as a result of the pandemic. This legislation also provides an additional $300 per week for all workers receiving unemployment benefits through March 14, 2021, and extends the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) program, with expanded coverage to the self-employed, gig workers and others in non-traditional unemployment and the Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) program. PUA provides unemployment benefits to gig workers and self-employed Americans and PEUC provides 13 weeks of additional unemployment benefits to qualified individuals.

Read more here.