top of page

Songwriter Voices Update: Your Music Is Worth More Than One Penny

Updated: Dec 14, 2019

Dear Songwriters and Friends,

It’s been an interesting past few weeks to say the least. Amidst the clash of the titans [Link to article about NSAI vs SESAC] currently happening in our ongoing struggle to get songwriters and creative laborers paid fairly for their work on digital platforms, one thing rings true:

People are starting to pay attention to what’s going on with the Internet, and how that relates to our problems overall.

For example, people are starting to ask questions [Link to Consumer Reports article cautioning about "The Internet of Things"]about how their personal information and user habits are handled online.

People are starting to notice how the youngest of children are being exposed to unspeakable horrors at the hands of unregulated YouTube videos [Link to TechCrunch article about the dangers of unsupervised internet usage]

… and reputable advertisers and investors are all but pulling their money out of any digital company caught trying to cheat songwriters, journalists, artists, and photographers out of our rightfully earned money [Link to AdWeek article about Procter & Gamble cutting digital advertising by $200 million].

We’re seeing Apple making agreements with the Writer’s Unions in Hollywood [Link to Hollywood Reporter article about this]…

… we’re seeing widespread multinational and bipartisan political support for fair compensation for songwriters and heritage musicians with the all important CLASSICS Act, and Article 13 in EU making sure our Johnny Neel and Smokey Robinsons of the world are paid fairly for their musical contributions to our collective art forms. [Link to MusicFirst info and comments submitted on Internet Governance]

See, the United States is the birthplace of a lot of musical styles including Rock and Roll, Country and Western, Bluegrass, R&B, and Hip Hop.

But we didn’t get here all on our own.

It is the melting pot of this country with its influences from Scotch Irish to West African that make it what it is today.

So let’s not get too caught up on our differences, but learn, rather, to celebrate our respective contributions to this collective work of art called Life.

And let’s stop trying to give away “Mincome” or “Universal Basic Income,” to everyone and their brother, just because the tech economy has taken untold millions of dollars from the creative class over the past 15 years, and is starting to feel guilty.

Enough is enough, people.

Let’s come together, and stop fighting amongst ourselves.

I won’t steal from you, and you don’t steal from me. Got it.


Let’s figure out how to save the planet for our kids and their kids, and stop “Amusing Ourselves To Death” playing footsie with fate.

No one should be forced to work. That’s called slavery.

And what do you call it when a government body sets the rates for your product, and then compels you to make it available at that price, even when it is less than the common unit of currency, one penny?

That’s called slavery. Prince had it right. [Link to a pic of Prince with "slave" written on his face"]

Let’s not get angry about it. Let’s just state the facts as clearly as possible, and start actually negotiating as if our lives and livelihoods depended on it.

Because you know why?

Some of us actually do depend on the money we earn from employing our copyrights, and some of us doing all the talking only talk about it.

Instead of being politicians, let’s get back to writing songs, and protecting those songs when they’re employed on the Internet or anywhere else.

You want to make a difference? Refuse to settle for disrespect. Refuse to allow your masterpieces to be stolen. …because you’re worth more than one penny.

Penny for your song

And so is your song.

91 views0 comments
bottom of page