The below statement has been issued by NSAI Board President and songwriter, Lee Thomas Miller on August 4, 2016. 


“I cannot emphasize strongly enough how ludicrous this DOJ ruling is. NSAI has had multiple conversations and meetings with the DOJ.

When I met with the assistant Attorney General, who is behind this, I graphically explained to her and her team the damage that the current, archaic music licensing and rate setting process is having on the songwriters. I then told her that her 100% licensing plan will threaten the last stream of income we have.

I am disgusted that they are proceeding with this hostile attack against the smallest business in America- the songwriter. Please know that we at NSAI will not be silent. We do not accept this.

Songs do not fall out of the sky. They are created slowly through years, sometimes decades, of life experience and pain and joy and hope and practice and failure and a tireless dedication to the learning of a craft that gives birth to a multi-billion dollar industry, an industry which would not exist without the songwriter.

This is not a third world country where the government can impose unjust rule over members of the working class. We pay taxes. We generate commerce. We establish, drive and change culture.

The government is wrong on this and I think they know it. I promise you we will be proclaiming it from every podium we can find. We will fight today and we will fight tomorrow because we have nothing to lose.”

NSAI Board President
Lee Thomas Miller

Read the post on Nashville Songwriters


  1. Reblogged this on The Trichordist and commented:
    To the barricades. What if we refused to comply? What if we withdrew our music from every PRO? We could bring the entire music licensing system crashing down. No legal music for TV, radio, streaming, YouTube, movies, restaurants, venues and bars? Maybe we should burn the whole fucking thing down. Let the DOJ explain to the public why there is no music.


  2. If all songwriters were to withdraw from Ascap and BMI, as the author suggests later in this post, I think the outcome is obvious. The streaming services would simply steal the music, though arguably at this stage it is just a matter continuing with sanctioned theft or opting for unsanctioned theft. The unsanctioned theft would merely be ignored by the authorities. Increasingly this is the world we live in, and by that I mean everyone, not just songwriters who are taking it on the chin far worse than most.

    Not to be cynical (O.K., yes to be cynical), the masses would be fine with crappy songs if performed by their favorite mainstream artists. Insofar as non-mainstream artists are concerned, they are doomed either way it seems.

    A boycott by performers would have meaningful effect, potentially, though that is predicated on the general public knowing good music from bad, and they are an easily manipulated lot, willing and perhaps on the whole eager to do the bidding of google, spotify et.al.

    I have long held a theory that the corporate powers (“big streaming” if you will) ultimately want to write the music, perhaps inserting product placement advertising, knowing that the public will eat it up indiscriminately. Further, I suspect it is a matter of time before they launch services to custom craft songs for the listener. Input general style, time signature (4/4 and 3/4 only please!), key signature, etc. and guitar solo number 325B in the middle eight please. And by the way insert the name of my girlfriend in the lyrics. The parts not generated electronically by google and their ilk will be purchased as stems from songwriters and performers for a federally mandated royalty fee of let’s say $0.000001 per streamed stem.

    Messed up world and hard to even know where it will all end. Not well I suspect, without a major change in public attitudes, and yes, taste. That and getting corporate money out of our political system.

    Just my $0.02 (or should I say just my 25 streams)


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