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Business News (more headlines) 03-01-2014

Future Of Music Coalition Encouraged By Songwriter Equity Act

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Representatives Doug Collins (R-GA) and Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY), introduced the Songwriter Equity Act, a bill meant to level the playing field for songwriters, composers and publishers for the use of their work.

The following statement is attributed to Casey Rae, Interim Executive Director for Future of Music Coalition (FMC), a national non-profit research, education and advocacy organization for musicians.

"It is clear that songwriter and composer compensation is crucial to the health of the entire music ecosystem. Too often, songwriters are overlooked in the pitched debates about new business models and rightsholder royalties. Today's legislation is important to focusing the conversation on those creators whose talents help power the music marketplace.

"We are glad that the major publishers and their trade representatives are not pushing for the elimination of a compulsory licensing framework which gives songwriters and composers leverage that they otherwise would lack. It remains to be seen whether a 'willing seller, willing buyer' standard for rate setting is the best way to achieve parity in today's royalty environment. Still, it is important for Congress to consider these matters, in addition to the glaring exemption that allows commercial radio to not pay performers and labels when their music is broadcast.

"As Congress examines this and other issues, it will be necessary to hear the perspectives of actual songwriters and not just the small handful of powerful music publishing companies. Songwriters and composers can't be expected to fend for themselves—they're too important to the future of music."

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