On May 12, Senator Lamar Alexander of Tennessee (@SenAlexander) officially introduced S. 2321, The Songwriter Equity Act of 2014, in the U.S. Senate. Originally co-sponsored by Senator Bob Corker (R-TN) (@SenBobCorker) and Senator Orrin Hatch (R-UT) (@OrrinHatch), this companion bill to Rep. Doug Collins’ (R-GA) (@RepDougCollins) H.R. 4079 in the House of Representatives further highlights the need for the legislation. Songwriters, composers and music publishers should be encouraged that this legislation is receiving attention in both chambers.
On June 2, S. 2321, the Senate’s Songwriter Equity Act of 2014, picked up a key co-sponsor in Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) (@SenWhitehouse). Senator Whitehouse serves on the Judiciary, Budget, and Environment and Public Works Committees, as well as the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee and the Special Committee on Aging. Alongside Senator Hatch (who is a songwriter himself), Senator Whitehouse is a co-chair of the bicameral, bipartisan International Anti-Piracy Caucus. He has long been a steady voice urging protections for intellectual property, and his support of the Songwriter Equity Act is another step toward leveling the playing field for BMI’s 1,000+ Rhode Island songwriters and the more than 600,000 songwriters and publishers BMI represents across the nation. The growing bipartisan support from lawmakers from both houses of Congress signals an increasing interest in addressing the need to establish fair market royalty rates for America’s songwriters.