Singer-songwriter Sen. Orrin HatchOrrin HatchOvernight Finance: US preps cases linking North Korea to Fed heist | GOP chair says Dodd-Frank a 2017 priority | Chamber pushes lawmakers on Trump's trade pick | Labor nominee faces Senate US Chamber urges quick vote on USTR nominee Lighthizer Live coverage: Day three of Supreme Court nominee hearing MORE (R-Utah) announced Monday that he would introduce a bill to ensure songwriters are fairly compensated.

“The music business is one of the toughest industries out there and our songwriters and composers shouldn’t have to accept artificially low royalty rates for their works,” Hatch said Monday. “Allowing them to receive the fair market value for their songs is the right thing to do.”

ADVERTISEMENT
Hatch, who sings and plays the piano, organ and violin, has written dozens of songs, including more recently a hip-hop-style Hannukah song titled “Eight Days of Hanukkah.”

Hatch made the announcement about the legislation at a Nashville café with Sens. Bob CorkerBob CorkerGOP lawmaker: Time to work with Dems on healthcare GOP senator: I'm ready to work with Trump, Dems on healthcare Senators introduce new Iran sanctions MORE (R-Tenn.) and Lamar AlexanderLamar AlexanderOvernight Regulation: Trump's Labor nominee hints at updating overtime rule Trump's Labor pick signals support for overtime pay hike Live coverage: Day three of Supreme Court nominee hearing MORE (R-Tenn.), who are co-sponsoring the bill.

“Italy has its art, Egypt has its pyramids, Napa Valley has its wines and Nashville has its songwriters,” Alexander said. “Songwriters are the lifeblood of Music City, and their paychecks ought to be based on the fair market value of their songs — so that when they write a hit heard around the world, you can see it in their billfolds.”

The Songwriter Equity Act 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 also allow songwriters to more easily litigate when their song is played, such as in a restaurant or at a concert, and they aren’t properly compensated.

The Copyright Royalty Board has currently set the rate of compensation at 9.1 cents per song. Corker said that rate is too low and doesn’t account for technological advances.

“As technology advances, it’s important we not forget the sometimes unsung heroes of the music industry — the songwriters — and modernize the way they are compensated for their talents,” Corker said.

Reps. Doug Collins (R-Ga.) and Marsha BlackburnMarsha BlackburnTrump meets with broadband CEO, Texas gov on infrastructure GOP rep: ObamaCare debate like trying get kids 'through bathtime' Senate on the verge of vote to kill FCC's consumer privacy protections MORE (R-Tenn.) introduced a companion measure in the House, H.R. 4079.