@chriswillman: @WriteGirlLA Teams Pro Songwriters With Local Youth to Create Original Music

Louise Goffin knows something about songwriting factories, being the child of two legendary Brill Building songsmiths. But on Grammy weekend, she was taking part in a different kind of musical production line, as about 80 teenage girls cranked out lyrics in a conference room at The Huntington in San Marino, Calif.

Sitting under a balloon that marked her as one of 13 professional singer/songwriters who would put music to and perform some of the girls’ songs, Goffin hunkered down with one aspirant after another, helping them figure out which lines from their sometimes epic lyric sheets might make for a chorus.

The Saturday afternoon event is an annual highlight for WriteGirl, a charitable organization that puts on monthly mentoring workshops to help teen girls who come from disadvantaged backgrounds and underserved communities find their voices.

Read the post on The Hollywood Reporter.

Watch this Space: MTP Podcast on 100% Licensing with Michelle Lewis and Kay Hanley of Songwriters of North America, David Lowery, Chris Castle coming soon

Next week we will continue discussion of the Department of Justice [sic] ruling on 100% licensing and partial withdrawals from the songwriter’s point of view. Participants will be songwriters Michelle Lewis and Kay Hanley of Songwriters of North America, David Lowery and Chris Castle. Watch this space for links to the podcast when it is completed, probably August […]

via Watch this Space: MTP Podcast on 100% Licensing with Michelle Lewis and Kay Hanley of Songwriters of North America, David Lowery, Chris Castle coming soon — MUSIC • TECHNOLOGY • POLICY


If you read nothing else, read this post from songwriter Kay Hanley:

We, the songwriters, went to the Department of Justice to ask for relief and protection through the modification of the consent decrees. We didn’t even ask that these antiquated relics to be shredded into the compost heap of the 20th century where it belongs. We asked for help. We explained our position. We implored them to make common sense modifications to the consent decrees that might help make our industry just a bit more nimble in a fast moving digital marketplace.

Apparently, the Department Of Justice did not feel moved.  Because you want to know what they did instead? Instead, the DOJ’s Antitrust Division has inexplicably just made our plight significantly worse by distorting the language of the consent decrees to solve a problem that did not exist, bypassing decades-long industry practice by compelling ASCAP + BMI to issue licenses for fractions of songs they that they do not represent. This is known as 100% licensing and it is a nightmare for us, while paving a smoother, more carefree road for digital platforms to exploit our copyrights. They have done this despite our pleas, despite no monopolistic behavior on our side and thus, for seemingly for no good reason. No reason, that is, unless one considers that the head of Antitrust is Renata Hesse, former counsel for Google. And who is the primary beneficiary of this massive “FUCK YOU” to the songwriting profession? You guessed it: Google.

Read the post on WeAreSONA.

The Frame: @jghorn speaks to @mlewey and @kayhanley of @wearesonaLA on #dmcafail

Hello Spotify, Goodbye Songwriters

The Frame’s John Horn spoke with Songwriters of North America founders Michelle Lewis and Kay Hanley about why the Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998 no longer works in an era of music streaming services and what can be done about it.

Interview Highlights


Your song “Wings” [performed by the band Little Mix] was streamed on Spotify several million times. Not that long ago, you got a royalty check for those streams. How much did that add up to?

LEWIS: I’d say by the end of the year, for the year that it played the most, it was worth about $4.78.

When you see that check or those pennies, what is your reaction?

LEWIS: What the … What’s going on? I was going to say a bad word, but I won’t.

What was going on? What happened to the money and how did you educate yourself about what was happening?

LEWIS: That was the catalyst that started me down the wormhole of how songwriters get paid for streaming services, specifically Spotify, Pandora and Apple Music. The way we get paid is not very well, really. A stream is for one person, whereas on radio it goes out to multiple people. They came up with a formula for what a stream is worth in the Digital Millennium Copyright Act introduced in 1998, which, I will remind you, was before the iPod. It determined what digital replications would be worth.

Read it on KPCC’s The Frame (and listen to the podcast)