Songwriters, composers and music publishers earn royalty income through two separate rights: the right to publicly perform their music works, and the right to make reproductions of those works and distribute those reproductions.
However, two outdated portions of the Copyright Act, Section 114(i) and Section 115, prevent songwriters and composers from receiving royalty rates that reflect fair market value for the use of their intellectual property. This has created inequity in the marketplace that harms America’s songwriters, composers and music publishers.
Taking notice of this, Congressman Doug Collins has introduced a bill, the Songwriter Equity Act.
The Songwriters’ Equity Act is an important step toward modernizing the music licensing system and leveling the playing field to ensure that songwriters, composers and publishers are appropriately compensated for the use of their intellectual property.
The SEA would:
1. Allow rate courts to consider other royalty rates as evidence when establishing digital performance rates.
2. Adopt a fair rate standard for mechanical licenses. This means replacing the rate of 9.1 cents with a rate that matches free market conditions. Some of have suggested this may be a rate of up to 52 cents.
(Read more about the bill proposal here and get involved.)