Broad Support for Legislation to Allow Songwriters to Receive Fair Pay

Posted on May 14, 2014

WASHINGTON – Legislation announced Monday by three senior Republican U.S. senators is drawing broad support from stakeholders and industry experts.

The Songwriter Equity Act was introduced in the U.S. Senate this week by Senators Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) and Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) – a songwriter himself and a senior member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, which has jurisdiction over the legislation. The bill would amend federal law to allow songwriters to be compensated for the fair market value of their work. The senators made their announcement accompanied by songwriters at The Bluebird Cafe in Nashville.

  • “The Senate introduction of the Songwriter Equity Act brings us an important step closer to our mission of ‘Fair market pay for all music creators across all platforms.’ We thank Senators Lamar Alexander, Bob Corker, and Orrin Hatch for joining their House colleagues led by Rep. Doug Collins to help establish a level playing field for all music makers.” – Neil Portnow, president and CEO, The Recording Academy
  • "Songwriter royalties have plummeted over the past decade due to Internet music piracy and new digital distribution models that have outpaced Copyright law. It is time that archaic rules that govern songwriter royalty rate setting procedures are updated. The Nashville Songwriters Association applauds Senators Lamar Alexander, Bob Corker and Orrin Hatch for realizing something must be done." – Lee Thomas Miller, president, Nashville Songwriters Association International (NSAI)
  • “[This] announcement is vital to a songwriters’ livelihood and woefully needed. I applaud Senators Alexander, Corker and Hatch for their Senate leadership on the issue. We must inject fairness into an outdated process that is undeniably stacked against songwriters and publishers, ensuring they are fairly compensated for their work.” – David Israelite, president and CEO, National Music Publishers Association (NMPA)


  • “The Church Music Publishers Association (CMPA) stands ready to lend its full support in favor of the Songwriter Equity Act, the new legislation introduced in the Senate by three long-time champions of intellectual property rights, Senators Lamar Alexander, Bob Corker and Orrin Hatch. CMPA is VERY pleased to see the introduction of this legislation that, when passed, will allow songwriters to receive fair, market-based compensation for their songs. The CMPA represents many small businesses - grass-roots songwriters of Church Music who want nothing more than a decent wage for an honest day’s work! The passage of this Bill should help level the playing field for the songwriting community and will be a welcome encouragement for all writers and publishers!” – Church Music Publishers Association (CMPA)
  • “I am so grateful to our home-state Senators for their support. Those of us in the Nashville songwriting community, as well as other music centers, are simply asking for fair compensation in today’s marketplace. Having Senators Lamar Alexander, Bob Corker and Orrin Hatch in our corner provides us with an opportunity to get our voices heard in the Senate as well as the House. To borrow from my song for Lady Antebellum . . . Senators, ‘We Run To You.’ Thank you so much.” – Tom Douglas, songwriter and Academy Award and Globe nominee (“The House That Built Me” for Miranda Lambert, “We Made Love” for the legendary band Alabama and “Let It Go” for Tim McGraw, among other hits), Broadcast Music, Inc. (BMI)
  • "The irony of the digital age is it’s getting harder and harder to make a living as a songwriter, even though our music is being heard by more people in more places than ever before. Songwriters today aren’t being fairly compensated for our work, but this bill would help level the playing field at a time when we really need it." – Rivers Rutherford, award-winning songwriter, American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP)
  • "SESAC is grateful to Senator Hatch, Senator Alexander and Senator Corker for their valuable time and crucial support on behalf of the songwriters and publishers and their right to be fairly compensated for their intellectual properties. SESAC remains vigilant in protecting the livelihoods of creators and is committed to the successful passage of the Songwriters Equity Act of 2014. We are thankful to Rep. Doug Collins and Rep. Hakeem Jeffries for sponsoring this vital bill which will help in providing a more equitable and relevant compensation structure for songwriters, composers and publishers." – Pat Collins, president and COO, Society of European Stage Authors and Composers (SESAC)