The NSAI update for the Los Angeles
by Seth Jackson
URGENT SONGWRITER ALERT!!
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.
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!
May-June '98 Workshop Schedule
Sunday, May 3, 4-7pm at Musician’s Institute - “Pounding the Pavement”
Panel Discussion. A panel of local writers will share their experiences
visiting Nashville. They will talk about pitching songs on Music Row, finding
co-writers, playing out, making demos, and more. There will be Q&A.
Panelists will be Bruce Bell, Michael Crawford, Seth Jackson, Craig Lackey,
and Larry Vail.
Sunday, May 17, 4-7pm at Musician’s Institute - Group Song Critiques.
The process of giving and receiving critiques helps you to improve your
latest song and to write better songs in the future. Bring one song
(on cassette or play it live) and 20 copies of your lyric sheet.
We also critique lyrics only or music only.
Sunday, May 31, 4-7pm at Musician’s Institute - Publisher Night Featuring
David Quan. Publisher David Quan of Music and Media International
will be our guest. David will be listening for hit songs. Bring your best
material on cassette with typed lyric sheets. If you don’t have a song
ready to pitch, this will be a great opportunity to learn about what publishers
look for in songs.
Sunday, June 14, 4-7pm at Musician’s Institute - Group Song Critiques.
Bring one song and 20 copies of your lyric sheet.
Sunday, June 28, 4-7pm - Group Song Critiques. Bring one song and
20 copies of your lyric sheet. NOTE: Musician’s Institute is not available
on June 28, and the tentative location for the meeting is the Songwriters
Guild of America’s Hollywood office.
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
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.
Wednesday, May 6, 7:45pm - The Jai Josefs Songwriter Showcase upstairs
at Luna Park in West Hollywood. $7 admission.
The Ventura Country Songwriters Assn. presents an open mic
at on the first and third Wednesday of each month, 6pm at the Red River
Steak and Fish House, 233 E. High Street in Moorpark, (805)529-2922.
Los Angeles Area NSAI
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LOS ANGELES WORKSHOP VOLUNTEERS
Lisa Blue Fasman