Independent songwriter groups meet with BMG music publishing

MCNA Meeting with BMG

Representatives of the independent American and global music creator communities led by the Songwriters Guild of America, the Society of Composers & Lyricists, and Music Creators North America met with BMG President Thomas Scherer and his team in Los Angeles last week to discuss mutual concerns regarding the future of the international music industry.

The songwriters and composers also took the opportunity to thank and congratulate BMG for its outspoken support of their successful initiative to ensure an increase in royalty rates regarding physical record sales and digital downloads. The creators likewise assured their publisher allies of their strong agreement with the principle that working together cooperatively will inevitably yield positive results for everyone.

Here is the courageous and important statement made by BMG in May 2022 regarding the royalty rate increase and the CRB proceedings in general.

The entire songwriter community owes a huge debt of thanks to those who fought for this increase in the face of the opposition of major record companies and indifference of music publishers. Thanks to them, songwriters will get an effective 32% rate increase on the current 9.1 cents a track mechanical rate for physical products and downloads in the US.

Without their belief and commitment, the RIAA (representing record companies) and the NMPA (representing music publishers) would not have been forced back to the negotiating table. Music companies have a duty to stand up for artists and songwriters. That is why BMG has put fairness at the heart of our agenda ever since we started business in 2008. We regret on this occasion that we did not speak out earlier and more robustly against an industry consensus that turned a blind eye to what has been a 15-year pay freeze for songwriters. More broadly, this case again highlighted the dismissive approach of record companies toward songwriters who just a month ago entered a motion designed to exclude the vast majority of songwriters from benefiting from any rate increase.

Thankfully, they have backed down. They could show further humility by following BMG’s example in abandoning unfair and anachronistic controlled composition deductions which are solely designed to depress songwriter earnings. This episode should be a wake-up call for all those in the industry who fail to match fine words about the value of music with a concern for the people who actually create it.”

Read the complete article at Digital Music News.

Photo (L-R):  MCNA and SGA outside counsel, Charlie Sanders; BMG’s chief of staff, Marian Wolf; MCNA vice president and SGA president, Rick Carnes; BMG Music Publishing president, Thomas Scherer; and MCNA co-chair and SCL president Ashley Irwin. Note that MCNA and CIAM president, Eddie Schwartz; MCNA co-chair, Greg Johnston; and several other BMG officers were in electronic attendance.

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