The National Music Publishers Association is circulating a petition among songwriters to gather support for its case with the Copyright Royalty Board. The CRB will decide on a royalty rate for interactive music streams over the 2018-2022 period over the course of this year, hearing proposals from all sides of the music industry.
“This week the most important trial most people have never heard of will begin in Washington, D.C.,” the NMPA wrote in its letter to songwriters. Although the group acknowledged that the tech companies behind streaming have created new distribution options, “they are also fighting in this trial to pay as little as possible to songwriters for the songs that drive their businesses.” The letter also pointed to one of the trends at those tech majors where a music subscription is an auxiliary department that supports the sales of other, more lucrative items. “If Amazon is using your music to sell Echos or Amazon Prime subscriptions, it should be required to share with you the benefits received,” the letter said.
So far, more than 4,000 songwriters have signed the CRB petition. The CRB hearing began this week for the NMPA, and the proceedings will likely last for months.