Shelly Peiken talks about MusicAnswers

Shelly Peiken, author of Confessions of a Serial Songwriter, was featured in the Huffington Post where she talks about advocating for songwriters’ rights. She also speaks about how the songwriting community needs to come together and a new movement called MusicAnswers. Read what she had to say below!

COASS-Final_CVR_152159A few months ago I went to Washington, D.C. to advocate for songwriters’ rights. Consent decrees that were established in 1941 still determine the rates that songwriters are paid and they haven’t been reassessed to take into account the realities of the digital marketplace. It’s been 75 years.

Do you know what the congresspeople told me? They said we, the creative community, have to get our act together. When the tech lobby comes to Capitol Hill it is unified and strong. It speaks with one voice: streaming rates are fine the way they are, in fact, they should be lower; streaming gives an artist free exposure which can lead to monetization in other ways. Creators should be thankful. There’s nothing more they can do about piracy. Don’t break the internet. Bla Bla Bla. But we–songwriters, performers, producers and composers–are divided in our message. And it’s true…we’re all over the place.

For instance, songwriters (and composers) come to Washington to support bills like the Songwriters Equity Act which would set rates at fair market value and remove the provision that prevents the federal rate court from considering relevant evidence when setting the royalty rates for a public performance. (As for the idea that we should be thankful for the exposure…well, the same could be said for eateries: serve free meals that people love and the people will return! How about a free drink too?)

Performers on the other hand, go to D.C. to advocate for The Fair Play Fair Pay Act. This bill states that recording artists should be paid performance royalties when their voices are broadcast on the radio–a no-brainer. Performers have another issue too: record labels receive the lion’s share of revenue that Spotify pays out, and they in turn are expected to compensate their artists. So why do performers receive a fraction of their due? The math remains a mystery. I feel their pain but as a songwriter, I’m fighting my own battle.

Producers have put forth the AMP (Allocation for Music Producers Act), which would create a structure for producers, mixers and engineers to participate in royalties for the songs they work on and allow them to receive direct payment through SoundExchange. Sounds good to me!

Read the rest of the article over at Huffington Post.



Hal Leonard Performing Arts Publishing Group, the trade book division of Hal Leonard Corporations, publishes books on the performing arts under the imprints Hal Leonard Books, Backbeat Books, Amadeus Press, and Applause Theatre and Cinema Books.

Posted on February 15, 2016, in Music Industry, Uncategorized and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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