SESAC is dedicated to protecting the rights of songwriters, composers and publishers for the public performances of their music. SESAC works towards the protection of intellectual property through various facets of education regarding public policy and through partnerships.
SESAC at GRAMMYs on the Hill 2016
SESAC served as a proud sponsor at The Recording Academy's 2016 GRAMMYs on the Hill Awards at the Hamilton Live in Washington D.C. on Wednesday, April 13, where the Zac Brown Band was honored with the Recording Artists' Coalition Award for their musical achievements and commitment to philanthropic causes. Brown was hailed for his work benefiting Zac Brown’s Camp Southern Ground, the Boot Campaign, City of Hope, MusiCares and the USO. The event, described as part concert, part political rally to reform music licensing, is a passionate topic for Brown.
“We’re excited to be an advocate for artists’ rights and producers and engineers,” Brown said. “The art and dedication it takes to make music on a really high level, those people have to be paid.”
Hosted by SESAC’s Jim Lauderdale, the Recording Academy also honored Reps. Joseph Crowley (D-N.Y.) and Thomas J. Rooney (R-Fla.), co-sponsors of the Allocation For Music Producers Act (H.R. 1457).
The next day, several artists including SESAC’s Dee Snider of Twisted Sister, Jim Lauderdale and artist/writer/producer Harvey Mason Jr. joined participants of GRAMMYs on the Hill Advocacy Day in a busking demonstration at Upper Senate Park on Capitol Hill. GRAMMY members visited the Hill to discuss the Allocation For Music Producers Act (H.R. 1457), which calls for the streamlining of how producers receive performance royalties.
SESAC Celebrates at MusiCares Dinner
SESAC executives were on hand at the 2016 MusiCares Person of the Year dinner celebrating the incredible musical and philanthropic work by legendary artist, Lionel Richie. The celebratory concert featured performances by a Who’s Who of major artists including Stevie Wonder, Rihanna, Chris Stapleton, Dave Grohl and Demi Lovato among many others. Richie gave a gracious and impassioned speech before delivering a lovely version of his hit, “Hello,” and launching an all-star rave on “All Night Long.”
MusiCares is a charitable arm of The Recording Academy and provides funds for essential support for music people have a place to turn in times of financial, medical and personal need.
SESAC Hosts House Judiciary Committee Members
Members of Congress serving on the House Judiciary Committee stopped by SESAC’s Nashville headquarters recently to visit and discuss issues facing the songwriting community. Committee leaders included Chairman Bob Goodlatte (VA) and Rep. Darrell Issa (CA) -Chairman of the Subcommittee on Courts, Intellectual Property and the Internet) as well as Rep. Doug Collins (GA) -Vice Chairman of the Courts, Intellectual Property and the Internet. These Congressmen gathered to discuss U.S. Copyright Law and the need for updates to accommodate the digital age. SESAC songwriter/artist Jerry Salley was also on hand to add the perspective of the creative community.
The members of the House Judiciary Committee were in Nashville as part of a three-year review to determine if the U.S. Copyright Law is maintaining pace with the digital age. During this Music City trip they visited the Bluebird Café, a reception hosted by RIAA, WSIX’s Bobby Bones Show as well as the SESAC headquarters, the only PRO stop on their trip. They also attended an information session with 21 key industry players at Belmont University.
SESAC On Capitol Hill
SESAC was on Capitol Hill recently as part of a special event held in conjunction with the House Songwriters Caucus and the Nashville Songwriters Association International (NSAI) and National Music Publishers Association (NMPA). A performance by SESAC songwriter/jazz artist René Marie along with Chris DeStefano (ASCAP) and Lee Thomas Miller (BMI) was featured as well as a Q&A session with House Songwriters Caucus co-chairs Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) and Rep. Ted Deutch (D-FL). This event was attended by many Members of Congress and senior Congressional staff. Members attending included Reps John Conyers, Judy Chu, Doug Collins, Steve Cohen, Joe Crowley, David Cicilline, Trent Franks, Louis Gohmert and others on the House Judiciary Committee.
SESAC Sponsors 2015 GRAMMYS On The Hill® Awards
SESAC was proud to be the lead sponsor of The Recording Academy®'s GRAMMYS On The Hill Awards where music and politics unite. First Lady Michelle Obama made a surprise appearance to present GRAMMY®-winning artist/songwriter/producer Alicia Keys with the Recording Artists' Coalition® Award while House Judiciary Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) and ranking member of the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Courts, Intellectual Property and the Internet Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) were honored for their support and understanding of music creators' unique role in American life. Known as "Washington's most interesting mix of music and politics," the event took place Wednesday, April 15, at the Hamilton Live in Washington D.C., and included one-of-a-kind live performances.
SESAC artist/songwriter/producer Angela Hunte, who penned the chart-topping “Empire State of Mind,” a hit for Keys and Jay-Z, helped honor Keys by joining in for a few verses in closing out the evening. SESAC’s American Authors were on hand to perform and were joined on-stage with some two dozen members of Congress in a spirited rendition of the group's hit song “Best Day of My Life.”
The GRAMMYs on the Hill Awards are sponsored by SESAC, and proceeds from the event will benefit the GRAMMY Foundation®'s GRAMMY Signature Schools program, which provides support for underserved music programs throughout the country.
SESAC Applauds Legislators for Introducing Songwriters Equity Act
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – SESAC, the nation’s most progressive performing rights organization, applauds Senator Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) and Representatives Doug Collins (R-Ga.) and Hakeem Jeffries (D- N.Y.) on the introduction of the Songwriters Equity Act. The legislation, introduced on March 4, modernizes sections 114 and 115 of the Copyright Act to achieve fairer royalty rates for songwriters. Representatives Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.), Jerry Nadler (D-N.Y.), Tom Rooney (R-Fla.), Steve Cohen (D-Tenn.), Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), Tony Cardenas (D-Calif.), Phil Roe (R-Tenn.) and Alan Lowenthal (D-Calif.) are original cosponsors of the House version.
"SESAC is grateful to Senators Hatch, Alexander, Corker and Whitehouse and Representatives Collins and Jeffries for their valuable time and crucial support on behalf of songwriters and publishers and their right to be fairly compensated for their intellectual properties,” said Pat Collins, president, SESAC Performing Rights. “SESAC remains vigilant in protecting the livelihoods of creators and is committed to the successful passage of the Songwriter Equity Act. This legislation will provide a more equitable and relevant compensation structure for songwriters, composers and publishers."
The Songwriter Equity Act, which updates legislation first enacted in 1909, addresses two important inequities under current copyright law that prevent songwriters and music publishers from being paid at the current fair market rate for their works. In addition to SESAC, the bill has broad support by organizations such as the Nashville Songwriters Association International (NSAI), National Music Publishers Association (NMPA), American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP), and Broadcast Music Inc. (BMI).
SESAC Hosts Rep. Doug Collins
SESAC recently hosted an informative reception for Rep. Doug Collins (R-GA) at the New York office. The gathering drew SESAC staffers and affiliates including jazz music great Ben Allison and songwriters Syd Butler and Kimberly Thompson. Rep. Collins offered insightful information on legislative issues facing the creative community including online piracy.
SESAC Joins GRAMMYs In My District
On October 14, James Leach, SESAC’s Vice President, Writer/Publisher Relations, West Coast Operations organized and led a group of music creators and executives to the offices of Rep. Brad Sherman for GRAMMYs In My District event. The gathering was part of an initiative founded by the Advocacy Committee of the Recording Academy with a goal of bringing critical issues that affect the music industry to the attention of our legislators at a local level.
SESAC Supports Songwriter Equity Act @ Bluebird Event
SESAC executives and affiliated songwriter Roxie Dean joined other supporters at the world famous Bluebird Café for the announcement of the Songwriter Equity Act, legislation to amend federal law to compensate songwriters for the fair market value of their work. The Songwriter Equity Act is being introduced in the U.S. Senate, following a previous introduction in the House of Representatives.
Senators Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) and Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) gathered at the Bluebird Cafe in Nashville to announce the legislation to amend federal law to allow songwriters to be compensated for the fair market value of their work.
The legislation would allow songwriters to receive market-based compensation and remove government price controls in two ways:
It would direct the Copyright Royalty Board to set compensation according to the fair market value when songs are sold, such as through music downloads and CD purchases.
It would remove a provision of law that narrows the scope of evidence the federal rate court may examine when asked to set songwriter compensation for when their song is played, such as in a restaurant or at a concert.
SESAC Sponsors 2014 GRAMMY®s On The Hill Awards
SESAC sponsored The Recording Academy®'s 2014 GRAMMYs on the Hill® Awards in Washington, D.C. on April 2. The award show is part of the largest and most important annual advocacy event for music creators. During the awards dinner, seven-time GRAMMY® winner and SESAC affiliate Lady Antebellum was presented with the Recording Artists’ Coalition Award. The ceremony also honored House of Representatives majority whip Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) and House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) for their support and understanding of the music creator’s unique role in American life.
The high-profile celebration at The Hamilton Live drew members of the recording and entertainment industries, including GRAMMY-winning group Los Lonely Boys, pop trio Hanson, SESAC hit songwriters Gary Burr (“Love’s Been A Little Bit Hard On Me”) and Victoria Shaw (“I Love The Way You Love Me”), pop music legend and five-time GRAMMY winner Dionne Warwick, and many others, in addition to numerous Washington luminaries and policy makers. The celebration began with a cocktail reception and dinner, followed by special performances, one-of-a-kind tributes and awards presentation.
SESAC Hosts Rep. Hakeem Jeffries
SESAC recently hosted an afternoon of music and politics when Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY) visited the New York offices to talk about the Songwriter Equity Act. The bill, co-sponsored by Jeffries along with Rep. Doug Collins (R-GA), endeavors to modernize the music licensing system by updating provisions to the Copyright Act of 1976 to ensure songwriters are fairly compensated for their creative work. During the afternoon meeting Jeffries was treated to some incredible music courtesy of SESAC-affiliated songwriter/artists such as Angela Hunte, Michael Michel, Steve Cooper, Martha Redbone and Tiombe Lockhart.
SESAC at CISAC World Creators Summit
SESAC’s President/COO Pat Collins was on hand at the World Creators Summit to moderate a discussion panel entitled “Visions for the Future – Creators in the Digital Age”. The panel discussed today’s digital revolution and how modern day innovations have empowered creative artists to step outside traditional business structures. On Tuesday night SESAC sponsored a reception and showcase for the World Creators Summit attendees that featured award-winning singer/songwriter Jim Lauderdale. The Americana great performed several of his hits including his tribute to the late, great George Jones, "The King Of Broken Hearts". Lauderdale was joined on the show by Hall of Fame artist/songwriter Valerie Simpson ("Ain't No Mountain High Enough") and acclaimed Broadway composer Alan Menken ("Beauty and The Beast") with eclectic and powerful performances that brought the audience to their feet in several standing ovations.
SESAC 18th Annual Pop Awards
SESAC’s President/COO, Pat Collins, addressed the audience at the SESAC 18th annual Pop Awards, held at The New York Public Library on Monday, May 5, 2014.
SESAC is a proud member of CISAC, the leading worldwide network of authors’ societies, designed to protect the global rights of songwriters, composers and publishers. SESAC is also a member of the Copyright Alliance.
The Copyright Alliance is a non-profit, non-partisan public interest and educational organization representing artists, creators, and innovators across the spectrum of copyright disciplines, including membership organizations, associations, unions, companies and guilds, representing artists, creators and innovators, and thousands of individuals.
SESAC works to educate the public on the importance of copyright protection through participation in various initiatives. Partnering with renowned academic institutions, SESAC provides experts as speakers on leading industry panels and seminars. SESAC takes an active role in international forums that seek to redefine global rights management mechanisms for the digital age and aggressively encourages a public policy conversation on the development of intellectual property rights in the digital age. SESAC keeps abreast of all legislative matters with Congress as they oversee copyright law and draft future legislation that will affect our affiliates and consistently touch on a number of issues of great interest to federal and state legislators.
SESAC Statement on Pandora
The rights and livelihoods of songwriters and composers are being threatened by the actions of Pandora Media Inc., a company that is attempting to slash royalties due songwriters and music publishers for the public performance of their copyrights on the Pandora platform. Pandora dominates the streaming marketplace in the U.S. and is expanding its popular music platform directly at the expense of songwriters and music publishers. Creators should be fairly compensated for their copyrights which is unquestionably the core of Pandora’s business. Music is the product!
For many songwriters receiving fair compensation is a matter of survival and any effort by Pandora or any company to purposefully jeopardize songwriters’ livelihood must be vigorously opposed. SESAC remains on the front lines against these and other economic and legislative threats to songwriters, composers, and music publishers.
Please join SESAC in advocating for the protection of intellectual property. Please register to vote and your voice be heard! Are you registered to vote?