22 May 2019

Singing the legal blues

Songwriters call for more freedoms and less regulation during ASCAP “Stand with Songwriters” on today's advocacy day.

Paul Williams & Questlove De La Rose at ASCAP Awards ASCAP

Award-winning American songwriters – including The Go-Go's, Don Felder, Felix Cavaliere, Andrea Martin, Paul Williams, Kany Garcia, Sidd Khosla – are meeting today on Capitol Hill to urge the US Congress to protect songwriters from further regulation.

“Antiquated system”

The songwriters will meet with elected officials as part of the annual American Society of Composers, Authors & Publishers (ASCAP) "Stand with Songwriters" Advocacy Day. They will urge Members of Congress to safeguard against further regulations that continue to threaten the value of their work. “While technology has completely transformed the way we listen to music, those who create the songs we love are disadvantaged by laws that prevent them from earning fair compensation in the digital age,” said ASCAP President and Chairman Paul Williams, an Oscar, Grammy and Golden Globe-winning songwriter. “To be effective, the regulatory system has to reflect the realities of today's music marketplace. We urge our members of Congress to continue to protect songwriters and reject new, restrictive legislation.” The shift to streaming has forced songwriters to work within an antiquated system that continues to over-regulate and undervalue their music. The passage of last year's Music Modernization Act made strides in the right direction, but new pressures to introduce legislation that imposes additional regulations on songwriters threatens this progress.

“We write the songs”

In their meetings on Capitol Hill, ASCAP members will urge policymakers from across the political spectrum to push back against these new limits on songwriters and provide music creators with a more flexible framework that can adapt to the realities of the modern music marketplace. The meetings follow last night's “We Write the Songs” concert at The Library of Congress, sponsored by The ASCAP Foundation and featuring performances by popular ASCAP members introduced by members of Congress, including Charlotte Caffey and Jane Wiedlin of The Go-Go's (“Our Lips Are Sealed,” “We Got The Beat”), Don Felder (“Hotel California”, “Victim of Love”), Felix Cavaliere (“Beautiful Morning,” “People Gotta Be Free”), Andrea Martin (“Breathe”), Kany Garcia (“Hoy Ya Me Voy”) and composer Siddhartha Khosla (television series “This Is Us”).

Email your news and story ideas to: news@globallegalpost.com