MusicDish e-Journal - December 11, 2017
MusicDish Advertising Network
» HOME » INSIDER SCOOP » CAREER TIPS » MUSIC SPOTLIGHT » MUSICDISH*CHINA
» INDUSTRY INTERVIEWS » NEWS BEAT » DIGITAL SKOOL » OPEN REVIEW » MUSICDISH EDELWEISS
Search MusicDish e-Journal (Advanced)
Subscribe To MusicDish e-Journal
About | Contact | Advertise | RSS | Submit Article | Submit News | Artist Development | Premium PR Distribution
Mi2N | MusicDish*China | MusicDish Network | MusicDishTV | Urban Music News Network

ASCAP CEO Elizabeth Matthews Testifies For Senate Judiciary Subcommittee
Calls for Changes to Antiquated Music Licensing System to Better Reflect Free-Market Rates for Songwriters
By Mi2N
(more articles from this author)
2015-03-14
Comment | Email | Print | RSS

Oral Statement of Elizabeth Matthews, March 10, 2015

Good morning Chairman Lee, Ranking Member Klobuchar and members of the Subcommittee.

My name is Elizabeth Matthews, and I am the CEO of the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers which was formed by songwriters over 100 years ago. ASCAP is a membership association operating on a not for profit basis. We are comprised of more than 525,000 songwriters, composers, lyricists and music publishers representing over 10 million musical compositions.

Songwriters are the unsung heroes behind American music. Every song you hear comes from the heart and mind of a songwriter. Songwriters create the notes and lyrics on the page. This is the copyright in the musical composition that any artist can record. Unlike recording artists, however, most songwriters are not famous and they do not make money by touring and selling merchandise. Many songwriters do not have salaries, benefits and other reliable sources of income. They rely on public performance royalties to earn a living, feed their families and pay the rent.

ASCAP’s job is to ensure that songwriters can make a living creating the music that we all love because music matters. Music is not just a business, it is an important and continual contribution to our society and to our day to day lives.

ASCAP licenses the right to publically perform our members’ music to over 700,000 licensees in the United States and we also work with over 100 public performance societies globally who in turn license our member’s works outside of the U.S. In 2014 alone, we processed payment for over 500 billion public performances which is more than double from the prior year and we are only one of several market actors.

In 1941, ASCAP entered into a Consent Decree with the Department of Justice, because ASCAP did not have significant competition.

Fast forward 74 years and today competition with ASCAP is alive and well. We compete directly with BMI, and with unregulated competitors including SESAC, new licensing companies, the foreign PROs and even with our own music publisher members who are free to directly license their works. The barriers to entry for new market competitors are quite low and yet we are still governed by a World War 2 era Consent Decree that was last updated before the invention of the Ipod.

There have been seismic changes in the music landscape. People no longer buy the music they love, they stream it. Streaming services offer more choice and more consumer control. As a result, they require access to a massive variety of songs in order to provide users with an optimally tailored content experience. This means that the use of music has increased exponentially, but the payments have not followed. For a songwriter, this is a terrifying trend.

New and innovative market players require experimentation and novel approaches to music licensing and yet the Consent Decree restricts our ability to adapt because it is still stuck in 1941.

Some digital music services are unwilling to pay songwriters a fair market rate making it impossible for songwriters to earn a sustainable living. As a result, major music publishers are threatening to resign from ASCAP and BMI entirely which would be a devastating blow to collective licensing and to songwriters.

In response, we have proposed a number of changes to the ASCAP Consent Decree, including the following:

First, rate disputes with businesses that use music should not be decided in expensive, time-consuming Federal rate court litigation. We propose a faster, less expensive process.

Second, our members should have the flexibility to grant ASCAP the right to license their music for some uses while retaining the right to license other uses directly. ASCAP fully supports transparency for licensees in this regard. That approach is both pro-competitive and consistent with the U.S. Copyright Law.

Third, we need to simplify music licensing by allowing ASCAP to license more than just the right of public performance. ASCAP can facilitate one stop shopping, a single destination where businesses can secure every right that they need if the Consent Decree is changed.

The Department of Justice is undertaking a review of our Consent Decree and we look forward to working with them to make these pro-competitive changes.

We have also engaged with Congress in our efforts to modernize the current music licensing system. In that regard, we applaud the leadership of Senator Hatch and others for introducing the Songwriter Equity Act, which represents an important first step in reform.

If the Consent Decrees are not changed and major publishers resign from ASCAP and BMI, then the system of collective licensing may collapse and everyone loses. Copyright owners, licensees, music fans everywhere and most importantly the songwriters who are the heart and soul of the entire music industry.

Related News from Mi2N:
» ASCAP CEO Elizabeth Matthews Testifies For Senate Judiciary Subcommittee


Home » Insider Scoop » ASCAP CEO Elizabeth Matthews Testifies For Senate Judiciary Subcommittee
Permalink:http://www.musicdish.com/mag/?id=13698
Email |Print |Comment |RSS

back | top


MusicDish Advertising Network

Insider Scoop

» Streaming & Listening Diversity - Spotify Case Study

» Pandora Subscriber Base Grows to Over 5 Million

» Music Industry Betting On VR & AR For New Revenue

» Sound Royalties Unearths Millions in Undistributed Royalties

» Indie Labels Represent Over A Third Of Global Recorded Music Market

Insider Scoop Directory



» [2017-12-06] Lithuanian Band Grabs Bronze At The Silk Road Indie Music Festival 2017; Antikvariniai Kašpirovskio Dantys Competed With Bands From Belgium, Sweden, Armenia, Germany, Japan, South Africa, India, Norway, Poland, Italy And The UK As Well As China

» [2017-12-06] Live Entertainment Specialists Headliner Launch Premium Artist Booking Service; A Fully-managed Service That Simplifies The Process Of Booking Renowned Artists And Performers For Occasional Event Planners, Agencies And Brands

» [2017-11-27] Voice-Controlled Speakers & The Music We Listen Too; Music Is A Major Part Of The Way Amazon Echo And Google Home Owners Interact With Their Devices

» [2017-11-21] Nordic & British Musicians' Unions' Joint Statement On Sexism In The Music Industry; Discussions On The Issue Of Gender Inequality, Sexism And Sexual Harassment, The Scale Of Which Had Been Highlighted By The Recent #metoo Campaign

» [2017-11-13] Women Make An Impact On The 2018 MPG Awards Shortlist; Nearly A Quarter Of Those Named This Year Are Female, Proving That Music Production Is No Longer A Bastion For The Boys

» [2017-11-13] The Nashville Musicians Sound Healthcare Plan Rolls Out; Sound Healthcare & Financial Announced The Formation Of A True Group Health Insurance Policy Plan For Musicians And Industry Professionals

» [2017-11-09] Streaming & Listening Diversity - Spotify Case Study; Will Artists Have An Easier Time Finding An Audience, Or Will Streaming Focus Global Attention On A Small Number Of Stars?

» [2017-11-09] Two-Sides Of Copyright Finance: Sound Royalties & Kobalt; Sound Royalties Unearths Millions In Undistributed Royalties While Kobalt Launches Fund To Invest In Music Copyright

» [2017-11-08] Career Moves: ROLI, Live Nation Sweden, Music Glue, BBR Music Group, Warner/Chappell Music Spain & Blue Night Soundscapes; ROLI Chief Creative Officer, Live Nation Sweden Managing Directors, Music Glue Global Head Of Business Development, BBR Music Group VP Of International, Warner/Chappell Music Spain Managing Director And Blue Night Director Of Music Clearance

» [2017-11-08] Europe's Digital Music Leaders Form Alliance; European Digital Music Companies Launch Of Digital Music Europe

» [2017-11-05] Pandora Subscriber Base Grows To Over 5 Million; Pandora Premium Paid Subscribers Cross The 1 Million Milestone In October 2017

» [2017-11-05] Hybrid Studios Announces Online Mastering Services; Engineers Billy Klein And Brian Frederick Spearhead New Online Mastering Effort Through OC Studio
MusicDish Advertising Network

follow MusicDish on
Follow MusicDish on Twitter

Mi2N Music PR

"Mountain Songs" Music From The Heart Of The Mountains

Hybrid Studios Now Offering Online Disklavier Services

Roger D'Arcy Releases 'TUMBLING' From Latest Album HOUSE OF HEADS

Katie Garibaldi Releases Original And First Ever Holiday Album, Home Sweet Christmas

Dark Avenue Premiere "The Light" Music Video

A True Life Touching Song Wins Top Honors In The 22nd Annual USA Songwriting Competition

"I Wanna Be David Cassidy," New Tribute Song To Late Music Icon, Is Released



Websites: Mi2N | MusicDish*China | MusicDish Network | MusicDishTV | Urban Music News Network
Services: Submit Article | Submit News | Submit Video | Artist Development | Premium PR Distribution

Copyright © 1997-2017 MusicDish LLC., all rights reserved.
About MusicDish e-Journal | Contact Us | Advertise | RSS | Internships