On May 18th, some of the country’s top songwriters and composers advocated for important reforms to outdated federal music licensing laws and regulations as part of ASCAP’s “Stand with Songwriters” Advocacy Day in Washington, DC.
In their meetings on Capitol Hill, ASCAP members discussed the challenges facing songwriters in the digital music age and urged policymakers to update the WWII-era federal laws that regulate how songwriters license their works.
They brought several “#StandWithSongwriters petition guitars” signed by a sampling of ASCAP’s more than 575,000 songwriter, composer and music publisher members, including: Erica Campbell, Pat Benatar, LaShawn Daniels, James Fauntleroy, Nate Ruess of fun., OMI and Adam Schlesinger.
ASCAP members underscored the critical importance of updating the performing rights organization’s consent decree with the Department of Justice, originally created in 1941 and last updated before the introduction of the iPod in 2001.
The meetings followed the “We Write the Songs” concert at the Library of Congress, sponsored by The ASCAP Foundation. The event featured performances by popular ASCAP members, who were introduced by Members of Congress, including: Brian McKnight, Monica, Brett James, MoZella, Priscilla Renea, Randy Goodrum, Desmond Child and Jennifer Higdon.
The delegation of ASCAP members participating in the Congressional office visits also included ASCAP Board members Dan Foliart, Wayland Holyfield, Dean Kay, James Kendrick, Leeds Levy, Irwin Z. Robinson and Alex Shapiro.
ASCAP recently debuted a video featuring its songwriter members delivering a personal appeal for music licensing reform, by highlighting a number of notable changes to American culture since the laws were written in 1941. For example: the advent of Frosted Flakes, the invention of Velcro, the introduction of Hawaii as the 50th state, and more. Click here to view the video. Visit our new website, www.standwithsongwriters.org, for more information on how to support the effort.