Home Uncategorized Songwriters Declare War On Their Own Publishers… Music NewsDigital Music News

Songwriters Declare War On Their Own Publishers… Music NewsDigital Music News

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To the American Music Publishing Community,

We are an international alliance of songwriter and composer
organizations representing tens of thousands of music creators
throughout the world, many of whom have created musical works
in which you claim rights. We recently reached out to your
trade organization, the National Music Publishers
Association (NMPA)
, hoping the Association would agree
to have a discussion with us regarding unilateral withdrawal by
publishers of rights and repertoire from the performing rights
organizations ASCAP and BMI.

While the discussion we requested was well within the bounds of
applicable competition laws, the response we received from the
NMPA was disappointing.  In a letter from NMPA’s General
Counsel, we were told that the talks we were seeking would be
“inappropriate” and would “prove fruitless”. Because we believe
there is still much to be gained from an open dialogue with
publishers, we are reaching out to each of you directly seeking
immediate discussion between our communities.

It is a matter of public record that some music publishers have
announced they are considering withdrawing rights and
repertoire from ASCAP and BMI, and licensing those rights
directly to users.

These statements assume that publishers possess the legal
authority to make such a unilateral withdrawal of works and
rights on behalf of music creators and their families, without
exception. We disagree.

While our organisations support the exploration of all
opportunities that might increase royalty rates for music
creators and publishers, we feel strongly that the
songwriters, composers and others we represent maintain their
right to decide who collects and administers performing rights
royalties on their behalf
.  Further, we feel that
any direct performance licenses negotiated by publishers
require complete transparency concerning both the full terms of
any direct licensing arrangement, and complete information
necessary to determine the royalties each music creator is
owed.

Again, we are reaching out to discuss how we can work together
for our mutual benefit.

As an interim step, however, to preserve the rights of the
songwriters, composers and heirs that we represent, this letter
shall serve as formal notification on their behalf that each
reserves the right to oppose any claims relating to alleged
publisher authority to unilaterally withdraw rights and
repertoire from the PROs, unless such reservations are
specifically waived in writing by an individual creator. In no
event should silence by any music creator represented by the
members of this alliance be construed as acquiescence or
waiver.

Signed,

Rick Carnes, Songwriters Guild of America (SGA)
International Council of Music Creators (CIAM)
Music Creators North America (MCNA)
European Composers and Songwriter Alliance (ECSA)
Society of Composers and Lyricists (SCL)
Songwriter’s Association of Canada (SAC)
Screen Composers Guild of Canada (SCGC)
Latin American Composers and Authors Alliance (PACSA)
Société Professionelle des Auteurs et des Compositeurs du
Québec (SPACQ)
Pan-African Composers and Songwriter Alliance (PACSA)

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Comments (1)

  1. go girl!

    Friday, March 27, 2015

    Holy crap! Look at the Songwriters’ Guild actually going to
    bat for songwriters! Sharpen those fangs, Rick Carnes. It’s
    about time for someone to call BS on the publisher’s
    withdrawing from the PROs. Word on the street is that
    they’ll continue to let the PROs administer, but they’ll go
    in for the big up front advances.

  1.  


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