COUNTRY NOTES

The NSAI update for the Los Angeles area Workshop

March-April, 1998


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by Seth Jackson

Songwriters in America are under attack in Washington DC. A bill has passed the U.S. House of Representatives that will cut songwriter income by 15-25%. The bill curtails our copyright protection, allowing businesses to have royalty-free use of our songs in their establishments. This bill will soon come up for vote in the Senate.

Misnamed the “Fairness in Music Licensing Bill”, it is more accurately known as “the Restaurant Bill”. Restaurant owners have been trying for the past three years to push this bill through Congress to save themselves an average of $1.58 per day, about the cost of one beer. They claim that music is “incidental” to their business, and thus needn’t be paid for. We all know that if music wasn’t important to them, they wouldn’t need to use it.

In the past, the restaurant lobby has used this bill to tie up beneficial legislation that would extend the term of copyright to the life of the author plus 70 years. Life plus 70 would bring the United States into compliance with the international standard. This year, the restaurant owners have made headway by using the tactic of having the Music Licensing bill attached as as an amendment to the popular Life Plus 70 measure.

Passage would be a disaster for all songwriters, including those of us who dream of someday earning a living from our songs. With all the time, effort, and money we invest in our songwriting careers, politicians are poised to take away our chance of profitting from our work.

We must stop this from happening. Each of us must write, call, FAX and/or email our two U.S. Senators and express our vehement opposition to the Music Licensing amendment and its linkage to the Life Plus 70 bill.

The restaurant lobby positioned this as a “pro-small business” issue. We must educate our leaders that songwriters are struggling businesspeople, and that performance royalties are our primary means of getting paid for the product we create.

See www.mindspring.com/~hitmeister/senator.htm on the World Wide Web for a sample letter. Also, see the NSAI, ASCAP, and BMI Web sites for more information.

The time to act is NOW! Don’t let them take away your dream!


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May-June '98 Workshop Schedule

Workshop Location
Unless otherwise noted, workshops are held from 4-7p.m. at Musician's Institute, 1655 McCadden Place, just off Hollywood Blvd. in Hollywood. Admission is free for NSAI members and NAS members, $10 for non-members. For more information, call Bev Nelson at (714) 733-2717 or email Seth Jackson at webmaster.hitmeister@mindspring.com. 
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Member News

It’s been a busy time for country trio Mr. Dyer’s Daughters. The band will appear in the motion picture “Letters From a Killer” starring Patrick Swayze. They will be seen performing their songs “Desire”, co-written with Marty Axelrod and Cathy Carlson, and “Daddy Tried”, co-written with Cathy and Seth Jackson. The film is slated for release this Fall.

The Dyers have also released a five-song CD, which they recorded at Chris Farren’s California studio. The CD includes their original song “Music to My Heart”, co-written with Seth Jackson and Shawn Allan. A review appears in the April 27 edition of Music Connection, page 23.


Events


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Los Angeles Area NSAI Members - DO YOU HAVE:

Let us know, so we can tell the world what you're up to! Submit to Country Notes by sending e-mail to webmaster.hitmeister@mindspring.com. Submissions must be received by 12:00 noon on the 15th of each month for the following month's issue.

Items will be printed subject to space and editorial limitations. 


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NSAI LOS ANGELES WORKSHOP VOLUNTEERS

EDITOR:
Seth Jackson
WORKSHOP COORDINATORS:
Bev Nelson
Seth Jackson
Craig Lackey
TREASURER:
Vickie Vining
EVENT COORDINATOR:
Cathy Carlson
COMMITTEE MEMBERS:
Lisa Blue Fasman
Cliff Nelson

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