Songwriters seem to be getting no love in the club, even though the track you’re popping bottles to is probably theirs. Streaming apps such as Spotify are being targeted by the federal government, who feels they are unjustly distributing funds, and ignoring those who put in the work.
The Senate Judiciary Committee’s Antitrust panel listened to the pleas from Broadcast Music, Inc. (BMI), the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP), and additional songwriters who asked for a new way to distribute songwriting royalties, Hip Hop DX reports. Their basis for the argument stems from a 1941 antitrust consent decree which allows the licensing of performance rights for music from songwriters without a company’s consent. Instead of providing equal opportunity, this lets anyone who applied for a license the permission to use songs, but questions about royalty distribution has to be taken up in court.
iTunes, Spotify, and Pandora are now the leading companies in music streaming and music consumption, though the allocation of profits has not caught up to it. ASCAP’s CEO Elizabeth Matthews stated, “For a songwriter, this is a terrible trend. If consent decrees are not changed and major music publishers resign from ASCAP and BMI, then the system of collective licensing may collapse and everyone loses.”
We can only hope that those putting in work get the recognition and the check for the work they put in. — Olivia Jade Khoury