Advocacy @ ASCAP

As technology transforms the music landscape, ASCAP is on the frontlines of the fight to protect the rights of music creators and defend the value of music.

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Your music has the power to change the world, and so does your vote. Join the ASCAP Citizen campaign to make sure you're exercising your right to be heard in our democracy, and help encourage others to do the same.

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DOJ Consent Decree Review

On June 5, 2019, the US Department of Justice (DOJ) announced a formal review of the ASCAP and BMI consent decrees. Commenting on the announcement, ASCAP Chief Executive Officer Elizabeth Matthews said:

"Thanks to the DOJ’s review, we now have the unique opportunity to reimagine the music marketplace in today’s digital age. A more flexible framework with less government regulation will allow us to compete in a free market, which we believe is the best way for our music creators to be rewarded for the value of their music. A free market would level the playing field, encourage competition and allow us to innovate on behalf of music creators and licensees alike, while ensuring fair compensation for songwriters."

Joint letter from ASCAP and BMI on consent decree reform
ASCAP CEO Beth Matthews's remarks from July 2020 DOJ workshop on consent decrees
Paul Williams Op-Ed: Protect the Creators of the Soundtracks to Our Lives (Morning Consult)

Latest Advocacy News

ASCAP and Other Music Industry Leaders Unite Again to Ask Congress to Provide Relief from Toll of Pandemic

As part of a united music community effort, ASCAP joined other music industry leaders in sending a letter urging Congress to pass legislation to provide additional relief desperately needed by the many songwriters, artists, musicians, engineers, producers and venues who bring live music to life.

ASCAP Citizen Seeks to Inspire Music Creators and Fans to Vote

In partnership with HeadCount, the new campaign will feature content from top ASCAP members from The Go-Gos, Taking Back Sunday, The National, Brothers Osborne and Avenue Beat, along with Jermaine Dupri, Ingrid Michaelson, mxmtoon, Donna Missal and more, promoting National Voter Registration Day

Remarks from ASCAP CEO Elizabeth Matthews to DOJ Workshop on Competition in the Licensing of Public Performance Rights in the Music Industry (July 28, 2020)

The Department of Justice (DOJ) held a virtual public workshop on July 28 and 29, 2020, to discuss competition in the licensing of public performance rights in the music industry. ASCAP CEO Elizabeth Matthews spoke at the proceedings on behalf of ASCAP.

ASCAP Calls on Congress to Stand With Songwriters Who Need Access to Critical Benefits in the Next Stimulus Package

Today, ASCAP joined other US music industry leaders in a letter urging Congress to ensure that critical benefits like unemployment insurance, disaster loans and Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans are extended to self-employed individuals and small businesses in the next government stimulus package. These programs have provided much-needed relief to songwriters and composers during the pandemic, and it is clear additional help is needed.

ASCAP Joins 20 US Music Industry Leaders in a Letter Asking Congress to Support the RESTART Act

ASCAP joined 20 US music industry leaders in a letter asking Congress to support the RESTART Act because independent music venues are vital to songwriters’ livelihoods, and they need help to survive.

ASCAP Joins Leading Music and Film Organizations to Call on Congress to Fix Safety Net in New CARES Act

ASCAP and several other entertainment industry organizations sent a joint letter to leaders of Congress, highlighting the ways the implementation of the CARES Act has fallen short in assisting workers in need in the entertainment community and requesting that these flaws be remedied in a new CARES Act COVID-19 relief package

ASCAP Joins Music Groups Calling on Government to Include Royalties in Unemployment Benefits Calculations for Musicians

ASCAP and several other music industry organizations sent a joint letter to US Secretary of Labor Eugene Scalia, urging his department to provide states with guidance around the new Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) program, which would make unemployment benefits more accessible to self-employed musicians and allow them to include royalties in the income base on which these benefits are calculated.

Performing Rights Organizations Join MusiCares® and the Recording Academy® in Support of COVID-19 Relief Fund

While the COVID-19 Relief Fund was created to help all music industry workers in need, the funds collected from the PROs, including ASCAP, will be focused on helping their respective songwriters, composers and lyricists.

ASCAP Applauds Passage of The CARES Act: Statements

The U.S. House of Representatives today passed and President Donald J. Trump signed into law the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, a $2 trillion emergency relief bill that provides economic assistance for businesses and individuals affected by the COVID-19 crisis. It includes provisions that may help music creators who are self-employed, independent contractors and those who own or work for small businesses.

FAQ: What ASCAP Members Affected by the Coronavirus Crisis Should Know About Economic Stimulus & Relief Programs

In an effort to help you quickly understand how the US government's response to the coronavirus pandemic may impact you as a music creator and a business owner, we have prepared the following FAQ. These questions and answers will be updated as the situation develops and more information about government assistance programs is available.

A Message from Paul Williams on Federal Emergency Relief Package

Today, the president signed an historic $2.2 trillion emergency relief package containing much of the financial assistance and relief that we requested for our members, including some notable provisions to help music creators who are self-employed, independent contractors and those who own or work for small businesses.

ASCAP Joins Songwriter Organizations to Call on Congress to Provide Music Creator Assistance During Pandemic

ASCAP has teamed up with songwriter organizations including BMI, NMPA, NSAI, SESAC, SGA and SONA on sending a joint letter to Congress, urging legislators to include relief for music creators as they roll out stimulus packages and pandemic assistance legislation in the coming weeks and months.

ASCAP Advocacy in the Press

  • Morning Consult: Protect the Creators of the Soundtracks to Our Lives (Op-Ed)

  • The Post and Courier: Music consent decree review could help SC songwriters (Letter to the Editor)

  • Morning Consult: No Need to Panic – Songwriters Just Want Fairness (Op-Ed)

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I, along with thousands of other songwriters, support the Songwriter Equity Act. I firmly believe it is a smart and reasonable step toward creating a fair system that benefits everyone in the music chain — music creators, music licensees and music fans — rather than pitting us against one another.

— Needlz