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Songwriters Call for Music Licensing Reform

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Advocating for important reforms to outdated federal music licensing laws and regulations, award-winning songwriters and composers from various music genres were in Washington, DC to meet with elected officials as part of the annual American Society of Composers, Authors & Publishers (ASCAP) “Songwriter Advocacy Day” on Capitol Hill.

In their meetings on the Hill, ASCAP members discussed the challenges facing songwriters in today’s digital music marketplace and urged policymakers to update federal laws that regulate how songwriters license their works. Their efforts underscore the critical importance of updating ASCAP’s consent decree, originally created in 1941 and last updated in before the introduction of the iPod in 2001. They also asked policymakers to support the Songwriter Equity Act, a bipartisan bill to amend two outdated portions of the US Copyright Act and level the playing field for songwriters, composers and publishers seeking fair compensation for their work.

“The rules that govern how songwriters and composers license our music no longer work in today’s marketplace, presenting a very real threat to the foundation of the music value chain,” said ASCAP President and Chairman Paul Williams. “Powerful corporations that now control the music delivery pipeline have lined up in opposition to reform, essentially asking the federal government to protect their profits at the expense of every songwriter, composer and music publisher in America. We’re here today because it’s up to each of us, as music creators, to stand up, speak out and defend the value of our music.”



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