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LICENSING RELIEF ... FROM CONGRESS?
With Reintroduction of Songwriter Equity Act, Bipartisanship May Actually Exist

And you thought government was all about gridlock.

Today it was announced that a bipartisan group of Congresspeople and Senators has reintroduced the Songwriter Equity Act, which would allow federal rate courts to look at the fair market value of a composition when establishing digital performance rates.

Among the sponsors are both of Tennessee’s senators, Jim Cooper and Marsha Blackburn, as well as songwritin’ Sen. Orrin Hatch, who penned such immortal tunes as “Eight Days of Hanukkah” and “Let the Eagle Soar.”

In response to the renewed legislative effort, ASCAP prexy Paul Williams released a statement that read, in part: "The Songwriter Equity Act represents an important first step toward updating an outdated music licensing system that treats songwriters differently than other copyright owners and prevents us from earning a fair market royalty rate when our music is streamed or downloaded online."

BMI President & Chief Executive Officer Michael O'Neill said: “Not only is it an important step on the road to fairness for BMI's more than 650,000 songwriters, composers and publishers,” O’Neill continued, “but this bill will also help address ongoing concerns about the impact of a rate disparity that values the performances of sound recordings at a level approximately 12 times greater than the actual musical compositions from which they are created.”

 

 

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