2 Senators and a Piano.

Senator Orrin Hatch
2018-01-26 18:48:03
Dear Friends, It's been quite a week in Washington. We overcame an ill-advised and unnecessary government shutdown, the President signed into law my extension of the Children's Health Insurance Program—the longest in the program’s history—and I introduced a merit-based immigration bill to attract the best and brightest in the world. And to top it all off, I introduced a bipartisan bill that will make a real difference for music fans across the country. Few people know that in addition to being a Senator, I am also an accomplished musician with more than 40 song credits to my name. I am a lifelong lover of music. Songwriting, in particular, is a passion of mine, and I have several friends in the recording industry whom I have collaborated with over the years.

It's been quite a week in Washington. We overcame an ill-advised and unnecessary government shutdown , the President signed into law my extension of the Children's Health Insurance Program —the longest in the program’s history—and I introduced a merit-based immigration bill to attract the best and brightest in the world. And to top it all off, I introduced a bipartisan bill that will make a real difference for music fans across the country.

Few people know that in addition to being a Senator, I am also an accomplished musician with more than 40 song credits to my name. I am a lifelong lover of music. Songwriting, in particular, is a passion of mine, and I have several friends in the recording industry whom I have collaborated with over the years.

See video of Senator Alexander, Chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee, and myself playing a few of the songs I've written

These men and women are completely committed to their craft. Unlike performers, songwriters work quietly behind the scenes, creating the lyrics, instrumentation, and melody of the music we love—and they often do so with little fanfare or recognition. Many go unnoticed for their work, and with the rise of digital streaming, some even go uncompensated.

Consider the case of Kevin Kadish, the talented songwriter behind Meghan Trainor’s smash hit “All About That Bass.” Kevin made a meager $5,679 off of 178 million streams, which in a music city like Nashville, is barely enough to cover living costs for more than a couple months. Kevin’s story is indicative of so many in today’s fast-changing entertainment landscape: artists give everything to their work and often get very little in return.

This compensation gap is due, in no small part, to outdated licensing laws that may have worked twenty years ago but are ill-suited for today’s media environment. In the era of internet streaming, songwriters can barely scrape by. And when songwriters suffer, so too does the quality of our music and the vibrancy of our culture. 

That’s why I introduced legislation this week to ensure that songwriters get their fair share in the digital age. My bill updates music licensing laws for the 21st century to ensure that these creative men and women get the compensation they deserve for the hard work they put in.

On Wednesday, I sat down with Senator Lamar Alexander for a jam session of sorts. We played our favorite songs together and talked about how our legislation can change the music industry—and America—for the better.  I encourage you to watch the video above to learn more about how my proposal will help songwriters live to their own tune.

Sincerely,

 

Orrin

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Senator Orrin Hatch
104 Hart Office Building Washington, DC 20510
Phone: (202) 224-5251
Fax: (202) 224-6331