Senate Songwriters' Royalty Bill Introduced
May 12, 2014 at 1:34 PM (PT)
A Senate companion bill to the House songwriter royalty bill H.R 4079 has been introduced by Sens. LAMAR ALEXANDER (R-TN), BOB CORKER (R-TN), and ORRIN HATCH (R-UT). The "Songwriter Equity Act" would amend federal law to direct the Copyright Royalty Board to set compensation according to the fair market value when songs are sold, and would narrow the scope of evidence the federal rate court can use to set songwriter compensation for performances.
ALEXANDER said, “ITALY has its art, EGYPT has its pyramids, NAPA VALLEY has its wines and NASHVILLE has its songwriters. Songwriters are the lifeblood of MUSIC CITY, and their paychecks ought to be based on the fair market value of their songs – so that when they write a hit heard around the world, you can see it in their billfolds.”
CORKER said, “There’s no place where the music industry is more vibrant than in TENNESSEE, where we are blessed with talented songwriters, musicians, and small and large businesses that work to bring to life the music we enjoy each day. As technology advances, it’s important we not forget the sometimes unsung heroes of the music industry – the songwriters – and modernize the way they are compensated for their talents.”
HATCH said, “The music business is one of the toughest industries out there and our songwriters and composers shouldn’t have to accept artificially low royalty rates for their works. Allowing them to receive the fair market value for their songs is the right thing to do, and I’m pleased to support this bill that will do just that."
The NAB's EVP/Communications DENNIS WHARTON responded, "NAB respectfully opposes this legislation, which could impose new costs on broadcasters that jeopardize the future of our free locally-focused service. While this legislation raises important issues about the changes confronting the songwriter community, NAB objects to changes in law that would deal with the financial imbalance between songwriters and artists by subjecting free broadcast radio stations to new fees."