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5/11/2015 The Songwriter Equity Act – Stand With Songwriters

The Songwriter Equity Act – Stand With Songwriters

#StandWithSongwriters Support the Songwriter Equity Act
#StandWithSongwriters Support the Songwriter Equity Act

Stand with your fellow songwriters/artists and support this act. It is an important beginning to effect copyright change that will protect all rights fairly in the digital age. Spread the word by retweeting ASCAP’s recent Twitter post, sharing that same message on other social media, and by writing to your Representative in Congress and your Senators. ASCAP has made it easy for any songwriter to contact their representatives. Just follow this link, enter your zip code, fill in your name and contact info and letters will be generated for you, you don’t even have to be an ASCAP member to use this quick and easy tool.

 

The Songwriter Equity Act Aims to Fairly Compensate Songwriters

 

The Songwriters’ Equity Act has been reintroduced to Congress, and it needs the support of every songwriter and publisher out there to help it pass. In the words of Paul Williams, ASCAP Songwriter and President of ASCAP: “What the Songwriter Equity Act would do is allow a rate court to consider other royalty rates as evidence when establishing digital performance rates for songwriters and composers. It would also adopt a fair rate standard for reproduction, or mechanical licenses.” His speech spelled out the many issues that have arisen within the copyright world which affect Songwriters today. You can view the entire speech given by Mr. Williams at the Annual Membership Meeting on Thursday April 30th, 2015 for a more in depth discussion of the inequities facing songwriters.

 

The Songwriter Equity Act Can Help Fix a Broken System

 

Our current copyright law was put into effect on January 1, 1978, years before the internet was even a consideration. In the time since, congress has put several changes into effect, which are essentially band-aides to stop the bleeding. But these changes were quite often compromised by negotiation to include not-so-favorable statutes to ensure the passing of another statute that will help the copyright owners. One example of this is the “1998 Copyright Extension Act” (a/k/a: “The Sonny Bono Copyright Extension Act” or “The Mickey Mouse Act”). This act extended the length of copyright protection to Life plus 70 years. By doing so, it allowed the US to remain party to The Berne Convention (which is the international copyright protection laws). However, in order to allow this extension to be approved, Bill Sponsors were forced to re-write the bill to include the “Fairness in Music Licensing Act” which allows non-payment of ASCAP/BMI/SESAC license fees for restaurants and retail spaces under a certain size and fitting specific specifications. Prior to 1998, if a venue used music, they had to pay for the rights to do so. This is just one example of how compromise in Congress has allowed Songwriter and Musician’s rights to be compromised in the attempts to fix our Copyright Legislation to fit the digital age.

 

The Songwriter Equity Act Benefits ALL Songwriters

 

Recently the US Copyright Office issued a proposal for changes to the US Copyright Act, which will allow for equality, quicker payments and rate determinations and basically ALLOW FOR SONGWRITERS TO BE ABLE TO MAKE A LIVING AT THEIR CRAFT!!! But in order to do so, you must press your congressional representatives to support you and your fellow songwriters. The report issued by the Our competition is huge, with companies such as Google, Amazon, Pandora, The Digital Media Association, The National Associations of Broadcasters, The National Retail Federation and other tech and media giants fighting any kind of reform of the music licensing system.

Please stand with your fellow songwriters/artists and support this act. It is an important beginning to effect copyright change that will protect all rights fairly in the digital age.

 

#StandWithSongwriters Support the Songwriter Equity Act

 

#StandWithSongwriters Support the Songwriter Equity Act

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SSA Music Publishing
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The Songwriter Equity Act – Stand With Songwriters

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