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    Musically Inclined Senators Push Legislation to Help Songwriters

    Musically Inclined Senators Push Legislation to Help Songwriters

    Hatch is a long-time songwriter

    Soon to be retired Sen. Orrin Hatch is one of the handful of Senators behind the Music Modernization Act, passed by the Senate last week.

    Co-sponsored by Sen. Lamar Alexander from Tennessee and Sen. Orrin Hatch from Utah, the bill (whose counterpart passed in the House a few months ago) would change the way musicians are paid for their work.

    CNN reports:

    A co-sponsor of the bill, Tennessee Sen. Lamar Alexander, told CNN he expects the House to approve the Senate’s version of the bill this week, though as of Sunday a vote on the House bill had not yet been scheduled. The House majority leader’s office declined to comment to CNN for this story. The bill’s supporters say the goal is for President Donald Trump to sign the bill into law by the start of October.
    If passed, the Music Modernization Act would be the first overhaul to music copyright law in decades.
    The bill, co-sponsored by Utah Republican Sen. Orrin Hatch who is a songwriter himself, would overhaul the laws related to how songwriters are paid when their songs are licensed or played. The act would also allow artists to receive royalties for songs recorded before 1972.
    Another key aspect of the legislation is that it would create a separate entity, overseen by publishers and songwriters, ideally making it easier for them to be paid the royalties they say they’re owed when their songs are played on the internet. Digital music providers, like Spotify or Apple Music, will have the chance to obtain a blanket license, with the goal of stanching lawsuits over copyright infringement.
    Hatch said in a statement last week that the bill is a “historic reform for our badly outdated music laws.”
    “The Music Modernization Act provides a solution, and it does so in a way that brings together competing sides of the music industry and both sides of the political spectrum,” Hatch said.
    Hatch’s love of music (he’s quite the songwriter) has been documented several times over the years, most notably in a cameo appearance on Parks and Recreation where Hatch sat alongside Sen. Spartacus to discuss their fictional music project.


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    Close The Fed | September 24, 2018 at 5:19 pm

    Yeah, it’s pretty outrageous that YouTube makes the advertising money off of songs written and performed by others. By the boatload.

    snopercod | September 24, 2018 at 6:00 pm

    Now if only engineers got royalties for the things they invented that people use every day.

    A lot of us just gave up on the industry and instead allow our songs to be streamed freely on sites such as Soundclick, Soundcloud, Bandcamp, etc. I’d never say payment ever influenced whether or not I continue writing; it’s a gift – or a bug that once contracted, never goes away.

    Parody is the bug that bit me hardest – sometimes all it takes is mishearing a lyric and then it’s off to the races to write the parody.

    Like this one from the fall of 2008:

    TTTO: Clapton’s Cocaine
    Copyright: The Author 2008

    He’s the nominee for the DNC love train
    Lib’rals love his schtick and he’s run a slick campaign
    He’s all talk, got no walk, meet Barack, Hussein

    With Paypal to thank, donations broke the bank, cha-ching
    From pesos to yen denarii’s rolling in, cha-ching
    From the Shah, big faux paux, broke the law, Hussein

    With a message of “change” your choice of veep is strange, so lame
    With 6 terms in his seat, suckin’ the teets, for change
    Quid pro quo, hair-plug Joe, way to go, Hussein

    Break it down

    Five hundred million spent to be the president, insane
    Do you know the job pays only four hundred K, Hussein
    Buy a brain, you’re so vain, been ordained, Hussein

    With friends like Ayers and Wright, no wonder you hide in shame
    One says “Damn the US” and one’s a terrorist, they claim
    Don’t you know, friends like those, get you hosed, Hussein (x2)

    Wank out

    BTW, in the interest of being “fair and balanced” I wrote another to the same tune called “McSame”. This is where I learned the hard way that lib’rals have ZERO sense of humor. They loved McSame and vilified me for Hussein. I about wet myself when one of them on the music board I frequented back then asked why I had to call him “Hussein”. “Um, because Barack doesn’t rhyme with Cocaine!?!” Sheesh.

    PrincetonAl | September 24, 2018 at 6:14 pm

    What exactly does the proposed legislation do? B cause some of it sounds swampy in the name of “helping”.

    “Legislation would create a separate entity”

    Is this a Government sponsored monopoly, I mean entity? What does it do that a company like ASCAP not do? Why do we need government sponsored entities?

    I’m sure there are plenty of areas for reform – copyright has been abused and preferential treatment by channel seems like an issue.

    But I’m suspicious of attempts at “help” out of DC. Would love more analysis on this …

    Sure, Hatch, because the Senate doesn’t have anything else to do but to scratch your personal music writing itch.

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