ASCAP Writers and Publishers Meet with Members of Congress on ASCAP “Stand With Songwriters” Advocacy Day

By Erik Philbrook, ASCAP Editor in Chief  •  May 24, 2019

The Go-Go’s, Don Felder, Felix Cavaliere, Andrea Martin, Paul Williams, Kany Garcia, Sidd Khosla and Other Award-Winning American Songwriters Call for More Freedom, Less Regulation on Capitol Hill

Award-winning songwriters and ASCAP Board members convened on Capitol Hill on May 22 to meet with elected officials as part of ASCAP’s “Stand with Songwriters” Advocacy Day. They urged Members of Congress to safeguard against further regulations that continue to threaten the value of their work.

Those who walked the halls to meet with legislators included Charlotte Caffey and Jane Wiedlin of pioneering all-women pop/rock group The Go-Go’s, singer-songwriter and former Eagles guitarist Don Felder, Felix Cavaliere of legendary '60s rock group The Rascals, hit R&B writer Andrea Martin, Latin music hitmaker Kany Garcia, This Is Us composer Siddhartha Khosla, ASCAP President and Chairman Paul Williams and ASCAP songwriter, composer and publisher board members Bruce Broughton, Desmond Child, Dan Foliart, James Kendrick, Evan Lamberg, Leeds Levy, Michelle Lewis, Irwin Robinson and Doug Wood. 

"Stand with Songwriters" Advocacy Day took place the morning after ASCAP members performed for Members of Congress at the annual ASCAP We Write the Songs concert. ASCAP also launched a video on May 22 featuring top ASCAP songwriters, including MILCK, Ashley Gorley, Linda Briceño and Steven Battey, who urged their fellow songwriters to stand with songwriters and join the cause to help protect the future of music.

“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 Paul Williams, who wrote an Op-Ed that was published in the Morning Consult on the same day he walked the halls. “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. In their meetings on Capitol Hill, ASCAP members urged 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.

To join ASCAP’s music creator advocacy efforts, visit www.ascap.com/advocacy