Nashville Songwriters Group Urges Sony Artists to Contact Label Over Royalty Debate

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On the heels of a critical letter to Sony Music Entertainment regarding the company's participation in the rate-setting procedure of the Copyright Royalty Board (CRB), the Nashville Songwriters Association International has now begun contacting Sony artists and songwriters, urging them to express concerns to their label group.

(The CRB is part of the Library Of Congress and sets rates for some statutory music licenses. For a full explainer of this tine of the music industry, head this way.) 

The letter notes that SME "has taken an unprecedented and disturbing position in their private proposal to the stakeholders of the CRB's rate-setting. They suggest both a decrease in mechanical royalty payments and limiting the potential for future royalty growth for songwriters in interactive streaming."

The letter further notes that Sony does not even pay these royalties -- subscription streaming services and their customers do -- and asks: "So why are they involved? Our conclusion is they want to lower payments to all songwriters, including SME artists who write their own songs."

The letter, signed by NSAI executive director Bart Herbison, challenged Sony to make their rate proposal public.