ASCAP Bill of Rights for Songwriters and Composers
Every day musicians, songwriters, and composers are losing their ability to make a living from their craft, and you would think that with all of the talk of the importance of “job creation” the impact of a “shrinking middle class”, and the general need to bolster the US economy that representatives in Washington DC would express some interest in protecting the jobs, income, livelihoods, and intellectual property rights of songwriters and composers.
Unfortunately songwriters and composers are not as organized and don’t have the financial lobbying power of other corporations of equivalent industry size. That is why we continually get overlooked. It is amazing that an industry that generates over $16.5 billion in sales in a calendar year cannot get adequate representation for it’s workers.
Please musicians, work together. As a united front we would have the economic power and influence of any tech giant, and possibly some of these energy companies that seem to have the government in their pockets. It is time to stand united and protect our art, way of life, and industry not only for ourselves, but for the future generations of musicians to take up our craft.
Do what you can to unite with other musicians, but least of all sign the ASCAP Bill of Rights for Songwriters and Composers.
Here is the general run down of the document from ASCAP.
A Bill of Rights for Songwriters and Composers
Created by ASCAP, the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers
Just as citizens of a nation must be educated about their rights to ensure that they are protected and upheld, so too must those who compose words and music know the rights that support their own acts of creation. Without these rights, which directly emanate from the U.S. Constitution, many who dream of focusing their talents and energies on music creation would be economically unable to do so – an outcome that would diminish artistic expression today and for future generations.
At this time, when so many forces are seeking to diminish copyright protections and devalue artistic expression, this Bill of Rights for Songwriters and Composers looks to clarify the entitlements that every music creator enjoys.
- We have the right to be compensated for the use of our creative works, and share in the revenues that they generate.
- We have the right to license our works and control the ways in which they are used.
- We have the right to withhold permission for uses of our works on artistic, economic or philosophical grounds.
- We have the right to protect our creative works to the fullest extent of the law from all forms of piracy, theft and unauthorized use, which deprive us of our right to earn a living based on our creativity.
- We have the right to choose when and where our creative works may be used for free.
- We have the right to develop, document and distribute our works through new media channels – while retaining the right to a share in all associated profits.
- We have the right to choose the organizations we want to represent us and to join our voices together to protect our rights and negotiate for the value of our music.
- We have the right to earn compensation from all types of “performances,” including direct, live renditions as well as indirect recordings, broadcasts, digital streams and more.
- We have the right to decline participation in business models that require us to relinquish all or part of our creative rights – or which do not respect our right to be compensated for our work.
- We have the right to advocate for strong laws protecting our creative works, and demand that our government vigorously uphold and protect our rights.
Please sign today. Click on the image below to go to the ASCAP site and sign the bill of rights.