The Songwriter Equity Act (SEA), H.R. 4079, is a bill introduced by Congressman Doug Collins (R-GA), that would allow a “rate court” to consider other royalties when setting digital performance rates for songwriters and composers. It would also adapt a fair rate standard for reproduction (mechanical licenses). What it aims to do is amend two sections of the Copyright Act, Sections 114(i) and 115, that are outdated and preventing songwriters and composers from receiving royalty rates that reflect fair market value. Since the bill was introduced on February 25, 2014, it has gained ten co-sponsors in Congress. On March 20, it was referred to the Subcommittee on Courts, Intellectual Property, and the Internet.

     The American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers (ASCAP) is leading the effort to get this bill passed. It has also received public support from the National Music Publishers’ Association (NMPA), Broadcast Music, Inc. (BMI), the National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences (NARAS), and SESAC (a performing rights organization with HQ in Nashville and offices in New York, Los Angeles, Miami, and London).

     For detailed information on this act, including a fact sheet, how you can help by contacting your congressman and urging support for this bill, how to spread the word via twitter, and how you can get involved, please visit this ASCAP link: 

     You can track the bill through Congress here:

     You can also help by signing the I Respect Music petition that urges Congress to support artists’ pay for radio play. We are the only democratic country in the world that does not pay our artists for radio airplay and it’s time to change that! Please visit this website for details and add your name to the petition:




  1. I invite songwriters to leave their comments on this page and share their stories. Perhaps hearing from the people directly affected by the unfairness of the current law will help to educate the general public and encourage them to act in support of this bill.

    1. I applaud Taylor Swift for calling attention to the gross injustice in how royalty money is distributed in the music industry. Personally, I would like to see a flat set percentage for every time a song is played/streamed over air (radio or Internet), live in public, or sold for later play. This does not seem like rocket science. Me thinks too many chefs are spoiling the broth.

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