ASCAP Songwriters Discuss Fair Compensation With Members Of Congress

Pictured (L-R)): Songwriter/ASCAP Board Member Desmond Child with Rep. Dave Trott (R-MI)

Pictured (L-R): Songwriter/ASCAP Board Member Desmond Child, Rep. Dave Trott (R-MI)

A number of ASCAP members and executives walked the halls of Capitol Hill in Washington on Wednesday (May 18) to meet with legislators and to urge them to stand with songwriters in the fight for fair compensation in today’s digital music marketplace.

Representative included: Paul Williams (“Rainbow Connection”), Desmond Child (“Livin’ On A Prayer”); Randy Goodrum (“Bluer Than Blue”); Jennifer Higdon (“Our Beautiful Country” from Cold Mountain); Brett James (“Something in the Water”); Brian McKnight (“Back at One”); Monica (“Before You Walked Out of My Life”), MoZella (“Wrecking Ball”), Priscilla Renea (“Somethin’ Bad”), Savan Kotcha (“Can’t Feel My Face”) and Needlz (“Just the Way You Are”).

In their meetings with members of Congress, the songwriters explained the unique challenges they face in the digital age, and highlighted the urgency of updating the consent decrees to better reflect how people listen to music today, starting with rate court reform.

Pictured (L-R): ASCAP Board Member Dan Foliart, songwriter Priscilla Renea, Rep. John Ratcliffe (R-TX) and songwriter MoZella

Pictured (L-R): ASCAP Board Member Dan Foliart, songwriter Priscilla Renea, Rep. John Ratcliffe (R-TX), songwriter MoZella

They also asked members of Congress to stand with songwriters and pass the Songwriter Equity Act, which would update two outdated provisions of the U.S. Copyright Act that prevent songwriters and publishers from earning fair royalties when their music is downloaded or streamed.

In between meetings, the group gathered to hear from Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT). Speaking as a songwriter himself, Sen. Hatch emphasized the need to protect music creators and reaffirmed his support for the Songwriter Equity Act. He also recounted fondly his experience of writing a number of songs with his friend Paul Williams.

The songwriters carried with them several “#StandWithSongwriters petition guitars,” signed by a sampling of ASCAP’s more than 575,000 songwriter, composer and music publisher members, including: Kevin Kadish, Ashley Gorley, Brett James, Erica Campbell, Pat Benatar, Nate Ruess of fun., OMI and Adam Schlesinger.

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