Breaking: The Songwriter Equity Act Has Been Reintroduced

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The Songwriter Equity Act (HR 4070) was introduced in February of last year by Congressman Doug Collins (R-Georgia), but failed to pass.

Today (March 4th) Collins and Senator Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) reintroduced the Songwriter Equity Act.

The bill is also sponsored by Congressman Hakeem Jeffries (D-New York) and Senators Sheldon Whitehouse (D-Rhode Island), Lamar Alexander (R-Tennessee), and Bob Corker (R-Tennessee).

The legislation would update Section 114 and 115 of the Copyright Act, allowing songwriters to receive fair market value for their work. It would do this by allowing a ‘rate court’ to consider other royalty rates when considering digital performance rates. It would also allow an increase in mechanical royalty rates.

The Songwriter Equity Act is supported by the NMPA, Nashville Songwriters Association International, ASCAP, BMI, and SESAC.

Read the proposed legislation here.


Nina Ulloa covers breaking news, tech, and more: @nine_u

6 Responses

  1. Remi Swierczek

    ASCAP, BMI, RIAA, IFP, UMG, Warner and Sony are attempting, with GOVERNMENT DECREE, to operate DIESEL car with ELECTRICITY.
    Starter will propel it only at 5 miles an hour and not for long haul. SORRY for bad news.

    Gentlemen, you are in digital era, just buy Tesla and enjoy life!
    We have all assets on the table to convert Radio and streaming or any place playing music to music store.

    Jump in and have $100B music industry by 2020.

    • Jeff Robinson

      With the sale royalty collected by labels for releasing music averaging 1.1 cents across all services, that royalty is much higher than the songwriting royalties paid by BMI or ASCAP at a rate of .0006037 portions of a dollar. Is it the song that has value or the recording of the song? The way the royalty rates are structured, it appears it’s the recording, but NOT the song itself. Am I missing something here? This is sort of a chicken or egg argument.

      • Jeffrey Barkin (@JeffreyBarkin)

        This is strictly a Bill to re-inforce songwriters’ compensation, not the recordings performance royalties, which are separate.

        Currently, in the U.S., the world’s largest market, there are no performance royalties for broadcast radio except for songwriters. All other industrial nations pay a performance royalty to the artists playing on the actual recordings, but the antiquated Terrestrial Radio Act exempts broadcast radio from such payments.

        Why is Congress focused on only protecting the songwriters? Shouldn’t the artist performers also receive something for their contribitions? Currently, the U.S. treats the artists in the same manner as countries who do not respect copyright, like China, North Korea, Rwanda, Viet Nam, and Iran. Just look at the Big Six Media who control U.S. broadcasting and have the greatest stakes by legislation:

        Are artist performers still being left out because the songwriters’ major publishers are well connected to the broadcasters? Now, songwriters certainly deserve to be properly compensated, but should performers playing their songs receive something too?

  2. Jeffrey Barkin (@JeffreyBarkin)

    Appreciate that this is ONLY for the songwriters, who traditionally have had some coverage… The U.S. and Congress still have NOT addressed performance royalties for the actual artists on the recordings, which every developed country currently awards. The U.S., the world’s largest market, still treats recording artists like North Korea, Viet Nam and China through its antiquated Terrrestrial Radio Act, which benefits the well-lobbied Big Six Media broadcasters:,