Who is Sam Hollander? (Holiday party review by Shelly Peiken)

December 19, 2018

Who is Sam Hollander?

Sounds like a baseball player. He’s not.  

Sam Hollander is the guy with the hoodie and the hat.  

Sam is a non-performing songwriter —  one who writes for and with artists who are (performers).

He’s the Dad who’s defying the odds. In today’s co-writing culture where the competition is crazy, making it less and less likely to land a recording on one Platinum release much less ten, Sam’s phone keeps buzzing.  

For those of you who aren’t in the music biz, he’s the guy whose songs you hear on the radio. A lot.

Lucky for us, SONA (Songwriters of N. America, a creators’ rights advocating organization to which I proudly belong), was honored to have Sam in the spotlight last night at our annual holiday party at Hotel Cafe. With a little help from his friends, Holly Palmer, Clara Stegall (Steegs), Martin Johnson, Blake Lewis and Garen Guerkian, and backed by a killer band, Sam shared his smashes and stories about his road to the charts.

What’s he done? Well for starters, he wrote a ton of tunes with Carole King. Need he do anything else? 

Ok…well…more recently he’s contributed to the hit-ness of Fitz and the Tantrum’s “HandClap,” 8 songs on the Panic! at the Disco album “Pray for the Wicked”,  including the #1 ”High Hopes” & “Say Amen” (Saturday Night). But he had me at Carole King. 

Then there’s multi-platinum success with One Direction, Katy Perry, Train, Daughtry, Weezer, The Fray, Gym Class Heroes and Pentatonix. (His daughter must be thrilled about the backstage passes.) And did I mention he was named Rolling Stone Magazine’s Hot List Producer of the Year. Sam IS the songwriter whose career you want to have.

But enough about the Bio. Songwriters want to know…

How does he do it? Get in those rooms? GET ON ALL THOSE RECORDS? 

You’d be naive to believe that talent is the only ingredient that matters. Being able to bring it consistently is a whole other game. In my personal experience, that’s what Sam does. He always has a trick in his pocket, up his sleeve, under his hat. Words for days. Catchy phrases and fresh rhymes. He’s the king of the ear-worm. Clever. He has a sense of humor that he uses in his material. He’s comfortable just throwing spaghetti at the wall and seeing what sticks.

Plus Sam is a fun hang. You can have talent beyond, but if people don’t enjoy your company and your schtick, forget it. Life is hard. Who wants to get out of bed and go to a session with a Debbie or a Derrick Downer? Martin Johnson of Boys Like Girls put it perfectly last night: “I know it’s gonna be a good day at the studio when Sam is there” — the best compliment a songwriter can get.

It’s easy to feel happy for Sam because he’s one of the good guys. And let’s face it there are so many a-holes in this business cutting you off, stabbing your back, being rewarded for bad behavior, passive aggressively putting you down, grabbing your GRAMMY, it’s nice to see a good guy win. And he’s the guy who’s truly happy for you when you win. Even when he was competing for the same spot.

There are tons of holiday parties going on every night in this town this week. But between the stellar show, the cookies, the popcorn, and the celebration of a year that SONA, along with a diligent #MusicArmy, got so much accomplished for creators, this party was the one to be at. Standing room only…actually there was no more room for standing.

SONA gives Hand Claps to the guy in the hoodie and the hat, for his well deserved success and we thank him for showing up to be our SONA Claus. Keep inspiring us Sam, making our ears happy, radio better, the world a better place, and showing us how it’s done.


Report: 11/8/18

Hey! Did you hear? The Music Modernization Act passed in October! Let’s rewind a few months, back to those heady days when the MMA sailed through both a House and Senate Judiciary vote with nothing but praise and bi-partisan love. We were warned to harbor no illusions about what could happen before the final hurdle, a full Senate vote. We were nervous. Turns out for good reason.

Bombs started being lobbed at the bill by hostile forces in mid-summer and did not relent until literally the day before the vote.


What nobody saw coming (including us) was the power of the #MusicArmy. When a parade of well-funded opponents to the Music Modernization Act began banging on doors in Washington DC, songwriters mobilized, online and on the ground, to quickly smack down and vaporize the threats, whack-a-mole style. Make no mistake, songwriters saved this legislation. YOU did this. With your engagement, knowledge of the issues, and thousands of sharp, hilariously mean tweets. MVP goes to SONA’s new BFF, Ross Golan, for being both general and warrior and getting everyone fired up. Seriously, what a badass.


Let’s never forget how effective we are when we fight side-by-side. Because as we are now learning, the MMA was just the opening band. The big headliner fights and opportunities are still to come, and Michelle will touch on some of those in the legislative update below.

Thanks for all you do to help preserve our beloved songwriting profession.


In Solidarity,

Your SONA Steering Committee

10/15/2018: Another Threat - The ALI Copyright Restatement Project


You thought we were done, didn’t you?  

Sigh.  I did too.  

So, before I explain, I just have to say one more time…


The MMA is now the law of the land and we should (and will) celebrate that some more before getting into the weeds of it.

Here’s what’s up: last week, while we were all celebrating (and then scratching our heads over getting Kanye’d), the American Law Institute (ALI) had been preparing for a vote on whether or not to proceed with the Copyright Restatement Project - that vote is this Thursday.   

According to SONA’s legal advisor Dina LaPolt (and every other music lawyer we respect), this would be TERRIBLE for music creators! 

From Dina: "The ALI is a group of prominent lawyers and judges who write very influential summaries of the law called “restatements.”  These “restatements” are used as cheat sheets or “Cliff’s Notes” by judges, scholars, and lawmakers who need to understand the law.  The ALI is a prominent organization and is HIGHLY REGARDED, but the lawyers leading the Copyright Restatement project are all COPYLEFT professors who have published dozens of anti-creator papers!  We killed this project back in January and we need to kill it again!"

Please read Dina’s op ed in Billboard today, post on all your socials, use #stopALI and tag @WeareSONALA   

Also, C3 has created a website called stopALI.com for the sole purpose of stopping the project! We’ve added the SONA logo in solidarity. 

And finally, we have a petition!!!

Please post, share, tag and shut. this. down.

Thank you, friends!

Here’s a slide to share:

Report: 09/27/2018

Hi all!

As you probably already know, the reconciled (and newly named) Orrin G Hatch - Bob Goodlatte Music Modernization Act passed in the House on Tuesday night!  All I keep hearing from people who work on the Hill is that having so much unanimity and ultimately, political support on a 186 page bill NEVER HAPPENS!!!  It’s kind of miraculous.


Maybe you also have noticed, the #MusicArmy has been keeping a bit of a lower profile over the past week.  

After the heated and somewhat contentious battle leading to the Senate passage last week, there was no reason to waste energy trying to break through all the social media action of the last few days.  Congressman Doug Collins set up such a slam dunk on the reconciled House version that it was pretty much a formality.

That leave us with One. Last. Step.

Under the heading of “Things they don’t teach you in the 'I’m Just A Bill' song from Schoolhouse Rock:" 

Today, the Speaker of the House will officially “enroll" the newly passed bill (and sign some parchment thingy) and then send the bill to the President to sign.  From this point, the President has 10-days to act - ie, either sign it into law, or not.  During that time period, it is the sole job of the #MusicArmy… to not say, tweet or post a single word about the bill on social media.  

“Music Bill? What music bill?”  :)

Now, on to the president’s desk…

THEN we celebrate! 

Thank you again for your efforts.  This has been an incredible achievement (so far).  

- Michelle 


Hey all,

If you were anywhere near any kind of social media last week, you probably already know that THE MUSIC MODERNIZATION ACT PASSED IN THE SENATE!!!

To everyone who tweeted, posted, emailed, made calls and helped push the bill over its largest hurdle - THANK YOU!  You did this.  Every post-game analysis of last week’s achievement credits our unshakeable unity as the key to our success.  


That deserves a lot of cheering and congratulating, but there are many people who still need to know… “what does it do?”

Well, we have a breakdown for you right here on our website: https://wearesona.com/dailyreport/what-mma-does-for-songwriters

Next up?  The bill goes back to the House for Reconciliation this week (probably tomorrow!), then gets signed by the president and THEN its law.  

Once the Music Modernization Act is passed into law, the work really begins.  Our first job will be to help our music creator community understand the new updated copyright law and how it will help them.  Please keep an eye out for our upcoming salons and workshops on the MMA in the near future.  


-Michelle Lewis and the SONA Executive Committee


Report: 09/18/2018 WE PASSED THE SENATE!

September 18, 2018

Remember that date!  

It’s the day the Music Modernization Act (now the Orrin G Hatch Music Modernization Act) PASSED in the United States Senate!

Thank you #MusicArmy!!! You did this!  This is a BCC list and will be kept private, but everyone on here should know that the list grew by 150% from when it started 6 weeks ago.  It includes songwriters and artists who have to have day jobs to make ends meet and songwriters and artists who are on the charts right now.  It includes legends and future legends.  It spans genres and ages and geography - but the common thread is that everyone on here STEPPED UP to help our community and to ensure the future of our profession.  For me, this has been all about my 11-year-old son, who is (big surprise) a songwriter.

I am grateful beyond words!

And because we are “virtual” army… here are some slides to share the news with!  :)


Next step - reconciliation in the House.  Then the President signs. Then its law!


- Michelle 

Report 09/18/2018 #3

Call script for Senator Graham:

“Thank you for always being a champion for creators.  We understand that SiriusXM has told you they are being treated unfairly.  That’s the furthest thing from the truth.  The bill will assure they get two things they requested: credit for their settlements and that the funds are split 50/50 with artists they play.  They now want to avoid paying fair market value, undermining the whole bill.”


Image 9-18-18 at 9.50 AM.jpg

Report 09/18/2018 #2


  • Senator Paul just released his hold.  We can stop calling his office.

  • Holds are being placed by Senator Graham (still just calls please, no shaming) and Senator Lee  

  • Let’s start calling Senator Lee’s office, please - 202-224-5444 and tweeting @SenMikeLee

  • Also, Kenny “Babyface” Edmonds, Mutt Lange, Bob Ezrin and many others have added their names to Ross Golan’s open letter to SIRIUS!  The list continues to grow so quickly we can barely keep up!

  • Last night, Senators Menendez (D-NJ), Casey (D-PA) and Wyden (D-OR) agreed to co-sponsor, bringing us to 82!

  • Yes, you read that correctly Wyden is co-sponsoring!  See below:

From: POLITICO Pro Technology Whiteboard <politicoemail@politicopro.com

Subject: Hatch, Wyden strike compromise on music licensing legislation

By John Hendel 

09/18/2018 12:18 PM EDT

Senators today struck a compromise on the Music Modernization Act, which could pave the way for quick passage in that chamber.

Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), who sponsored the Senate version of the bill, S. 2823 (115), is now offering a substitute. The new text, obtained by POLITICO, is designed to satisfy concerns from Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), a prominent holdout, who wanted to ensure that older sound recordings are made fully available to scholars, libraries and archivists.

The legislation, which enjoys backing from songwriters, publishers and broadcasters, would ensure that artists who released records prior to 1972 are paid royalties from digital streaming services. It would also streamline the process for those services to obtain music licensing rights.

The original Senate version, which had 79 backers, cleared the Judiciary committee this summer. Minority Leader Chuck Schumer was the latest to lend his support on Monday. The House had unanimously passed its version in April.

Wyden was not initially on board. He filed an alternative proposal in May that would allow musicians to be paid royalties for pre-1972 recordings but put those works into the public domain sooner.

Hatch's substitute would create a staggered transition by which songs recorded before 1972 enter the public domain and allow people to file with the Copyright Office to use older recordings for noncommercial purposes.

If no senator objects, the new version could pass the Senate by unanimous consent.

"Hatch hopes the Senate will pass it as soon as possible," his spokesman told POLITICO.

To view online:

Report: 09/18/2018

Today is a red-letter day in the life of the Music Modernization Act, so please look out for updates.

Because of some new language added, the hotline wasn’t initiated until 6PM last night, which means SIRIUS has all day to find senators who will place “holds” on the bill.  We need the ENTIRE MUSIC ARMY to be on call and react when names arise.

So here we go!

From Dina:

We need ALL music creators to call Sen Lindsey Graham’s Chief of Staff:     Richard Perry.  They care about artists so calls will help.  202-224-5972.  Particularly, SC artists!


“Sirius has been given what they asked in the bill.  They keep moving the goalpost.  The music community is together.  Senator Gardner brokered a deal for Sirius, they are going back on it.  Sirius also cut a deal with the artists, and now they are going back on that too.  Thanks for your early support.  We need your help to get this done for older artists.”

We CANNOT go after Lindsay Graham publicly.  He has been our champion before and co-sponsored the original CLASSICS Act.  ***PLEASE CALL NOW!***

ALSO, please call Senator Rand Paul and ask him not to put a hold on the MMA! Tell them musicians and songwriters all over the country are counting on them not to block the most important legislation for our community in a generation.  Senator Paul is: 202-224-4343  And tweet to @randpaul 

Sorry for the ALL-CAPS!  Stay tuned!

Report: 09/17/2018

Hello Music Army.  

Well… the first big news to report is that the Music Modernization Act got “hotlined” today. 



A strategic procedure carried out by Leadership and their Cloakrooms. There are a few situations in which Senate Leadership might hotline a bill-- the most common is that they want to move it quickly. In that case a member of Leadership asks their Cloakroom to leave an outgoing message for the Senate that the measure will be called up to pass without a vote (by Unanimous Consent). If a single Senator objects to the bill they can phone the Cloakroom clerk, register their objection, and the bill is stopped. Sometimes the Majority leader doesn't really expect a bill to pass by Unanimous Consent but will hotline it anyway-- like a trial balloon to measure a bill's support.”

This was the important procedural step I alluded to on Friday.  It’s happening.  Right now.  The tree is being shaken.  And despite SIRIUS’s most serious efforts, nothing has fallen out. Yet. 

For more info, please read - https://www.billboard.com/articles/business/8475435/music-modernization-act-doesnt-pass-soon-what-happens-next

Also, we got three new co-sponsors (some big ones!)

  • Senator Chuck Schumer - 77

  • Senator Jack Reed - 78 

  • and Senator Elizabeth Warren - 79 - Once again, thanks to Massachusetts’s own Kay Hanley and her mom Ellen. :) 

Not often you get a tweet like this, right?


To push back at SIRIUS’s continued bad-faith efforts, Ross published his letter to SIRIUS and Liberty Media executives with a list of nearly 200 artists, songwriters and music executives signing on, including Paul McCartney, Pink and Max Martin.


More names are being added every five minutes, so will be updating the list of co-signees regularly.  If you have additions please let me or Ross know. 

Please read and share this amazing op-ed by Neil Diamond in the LA Times about the MMA!  And thank you Katie Diamond & Dina!!


It is make or break time for the MMA right now.  If we can get through this final hurdle, we really have a shot at getting the bill passed and getting our much-needed reform.  Please continue to post and tweet about SIRIUS’s crappy behavior.  We’ll keep adding new shareable slides on our socials, but I’ve attached some usable ones below.

Finally, much thanks to the MVP of the weekend - Ryan Tedder - you win the Paul Williams “Warrior for the Light” Award for your amazing efforts with the legislators and bringing artists on-board.  You should run for office!

With all my love and gratitude,

Report: 09/11/2018

September 11, 2018

Hi All!

A few updates on our “SIRIUS Situation:”  

No, the pun isn’t lost on me… looks like everyone is using it: 


Senator Cotton of AK met with SIRIUS today - Please tag AK artists and songwriters (David Hodges and Kris Allen are two that come to mind) and ask them to ask their senator to co-sponsor the MMA. (Tell them “The future of music depends on it.”)

If you remember waaaay back to July, the most effective strategy in our battle with Blackstone/SESAC was calling on SESAC songwriters to apply both internal and public pressure on SESAC to back off of their efforts to amend, and ultimately kill, the MMA.  We can use the same strategy here.

SIRIUS engages many artists and songwriters as their public face.  We are in the process of enlisting as many artists with SIRIUS channels as possible to both publicly and privately push back at SIRIUS’s current mission to tank the bill.  

SIRIUS Artists to reach out to are:

Pitbull Little Steven  Pearl Jam Garth Brooks

Kenny Chesney Willie Nelson Bruce Springsteen Peter Asher (Beatles Channel)

Here is a sample of a text you can send to an artist to who may have some influence over there:

"Hey ____!  We need your help! The Music Modernization Act is a bill that songwriters and artists are fighting to get passed in the US Senate. The legislation creates a fair way for songwriters to get paid from digital streaming, which doesn’t exist right now. Sirius XM and its owner Liberty Media are showing up in DC this week to offer self-dealing amendments that will effectively kill the bill. Can you communicate something like this to @siriusxm? “Please back off trying to kill the Music Modernization Act.  Sirius XM needs to help the music community pass this bill to keep working songwriters creating great music for you and your paying listeners.”  Thank you!"  

I really do hate to use this phrase, because it’s SO on-the-nose… but this is serious.  We need all hands on deck to fight off the threat SIRIUS and Liberty Media pose.  

Also - Helpful primer from the Recording Academy on why September is so crucial for the MMA: https://www.grammy.com/advocacy/news/why-september-matters-music-modernization-act

Oh, and if you start to feel bummed out or frustrated, know that this just happened :) 

Jazon M post.jpeg
Image 9-9-18 at 6.25 PM.jpeg

Report: 09/09/2018

Not to be a whiner, but I reeeeally want to get back to just writing songs again.  


Thanks to Liberty Media and SIRIUS/XM… nope. 


Today is a holiday (Happy New Year to those who celebrate), so Senators won’t be in their offices (staff will), but beginning tomorrow, Tuesday, lobbying against the Music Modernization Act will begin in earnest.  

We need to act TODAY!


What can we do to fight back?  

Creators and our advocates must be a strong presence on Capitol Hill this week (let me know if you can be in DC!).

Push back against @siriusxm preemptively and PUBLICLY!  Threaten to cancel your subscriptions and boycott the station. Remember this is a historic chance for reform.  If they successfully block the bill, we’ll remember.

Tag artists from Virginia asking Senator Warner - @MarkWarner  - to support VA musicians and co-sponsor the MMA (see last Friday's update)

Ask SIRIUS/XM DJ’s and artists with channels to pressure SIRIUS management internally.

Continue to ask senators to co-sponsor (only 27 to go!!).

Ask Senator McConnell to call for a vote on the MMA.

(thank you Tom Morello!)

Screen Shot 2018-09-08 at 12.51.42 PM.png

Here’s a video from SONA’s Shelly Peiken letting the #MusicArmy what’s going on! 

Fuck Sirius.png
TheyCan'tBeSirius (003).png

Report: 09/06/2018

Hello Army!

I apologize for the intermittent updates, but it’s been a couple of really slow news days.  (umm, kidding)

There has been so much going on in DC apart from our much-needed copyright reform bill... so I only have one new co-sponsor to report:

Senator Cantwell (D-WA) - 73!  She’s given her oral commitment so far, so please hold off on thanking her publicly until confirmed.

David I has identified the 10 Senators below as being on-the-fence or close to yes!  We have some badass songwriters from New Mexico lined up to target Senator Udall, but can always use more.  And how Senator Murphy can hold out on Michael-freaking-Bolton (!!!) is beyond me.  We just have to keep doing what we’re doing…

Tag artists and songwriters from these states

Ask them to ask their Senators to “Support the future of music and co-sponsor the #MusicModernizationAct.”

We’ve been @‘ing the Senators on social media a lot, but also feel free to keep sharing the Maren Morris text/call tool - either Text MUSIC to 225568 or Call 1-833-755-3384.


Today, from Daryl Friedman (Recording Academy):

"We launched our District Advocate program on Friday, with a focus this year on online engagement throughout Sept until the bill passes.  500 new enlistees so far (tracking typical as past years, where it usually climbs to 2000)."

Nice Lady A. tweet to 2.5 million!!!


***Please retweet!!!***

According to our lobbyists on the Hill, we have about two weeks to get the MMA hotlined in the Senate.  Then it would need to get back over for a vote in the House for reconciliation.  Our man, Congressman Doug Collins, has teed up the House leadership for a quick UC vote if and when this happens, but the House leaves for recess Oct. 1.   After that we’re in the election cycle. And you know, Plan B.  Let’s not think about Plan B for now. 

In the words of the great Kenny Loggins, “This is It.” :)

More to come!

Report: 09/04/2018

September 4, 2018

Hi all!                     

Hope you had a lovely holiday weekend…

Many of you have contacted me individually to ask about the next steps for the MMA, now that the Senate’s focus seems to be entirely on Kavanaugh hearings.  We were all wondering if the senators who have yet to co-sponsor would have the bandwidth to consider new legislation…

Well, I guess the answer is - YES, they do.  Today brought us three new co-sponsors!

  • Senator Lankford (OK) - 70!

  • Senator Heinrich (NM) - 71!

  • Senator Johnson (WI) - 72!

Word is that Senator Udall is VERY close to sponsoring!  #MusicArmy - please do your thing!  Lead “Warrior for the Light” Paul Williams, who has lived in New Mexico, has already put in calls to Senator Udall, but if any of you know artists or songwriters from there, please tag them and get them to call Senator Udall’s office! 

  • Please use hashtags - #SenatePasstheMMA #MusicModernizationAct

  • Feel free to use the attached slide for New Mexico

  • Let me know if anything connects! (ie. notable tweets, posts or calls)

Also, the newly minted "Three Divas Award” goes to Joel Flatow/RIAA for arranging the following tweets: 


Screen Shot 2018-09-04 at 8.49.04 PM.png
Screen Shot 2018-09-04 at 8.50.12 PM.png
Screen Shot 2018-09-04 at 8.50.12 PM.png


Finally, welcome to some new #MusicArmy members.  Just to catch you up - this is a private BCC list of songwriters, artists and our advocates who have been active in helping get the MMA across the finish line!  Thank you SO much for everything you are doing!  We are in the final weeks.  Most of the issues have been resolved  - Senators Coons and Wyden are making progress on the legislative text and all of our unrelenting public pressure on SIRIUS is making it harder and harder for them to find champions in the Senate who will agree to help them tank the bill. 

(see Senator Cory Gardner’s tweet as an amazing example of #MusicArmy magic!)

Screen Shot 2018-09-04 at 9.18.15 PM.png

So… despite so much going on in DC and seemingly insurmountable hurdles, we are still moving forward.  

I mean, why not 75 co-sponsors? :)

Image 9-4-18 at 9.44 PM.jpg

Report: 08/30/2018

August 30, 2018

(aka “Two-Thirds Thursday")

Hi all…

There have been so many big things in play over the past two days, that I kept putting off the update so I could share the results in one email, but things kept happening!

Senate Update:

  • Yesterday - thanks to everyone’s tireless efforts - Senator Marco Rubio signed on!  We had a fierce coalition of artists from Florida hammer Sen Rubio’s office with calls and emails and it WORKED! 
  • And then Senator Dan Sullivan from AK signed on becoming co-sponsor number 67!
  • So we actually had TWO-THIRDS THURSDAY covered by Wednesday :)
  • By the end of yesterday, we also had Senator Sturbenow (MI), which brought our co-sponsor count to 68.  Special thanks to our friend Mozella for making that call! 

The pile-on on Senator Murphy (CT) was so intense, including calls from Steve Porcaro, Mark McGrath and a call AND amazing letter from Michael Bolton (see attached), that I really believed I would be announcing he would become our next co-sponsor by the end of today, but it was not to be.  (Keep trying, CT rockstars!)

Instead, THIS HAPPENED!!!!


Screen Shot 2018-08-31 at 12.04.28 AM.png

This makes Senator Gardner our 70th senator (including Senator Hatch).  I did NOT see that coming.  

From David I: "A special thanks to Ryan Tedder who has joined our #MusicArmy of Creators who are personally fighting for the MMA.  Ryan has been engaged full time over the last 48 hours and has made a significant difference on several fronts."

What’s next:

  • We are still awaiting the successful drafting of the handshake agreement between Senator Coons and Senator Wyden.  No one should comment to the press about this development until it is finished.  Billboards are still up!

  • Focus on New Mexico - David Israelite has asked that we flood Senator Udall’s office with calls for support.  We’re close there!  Thank you to Paul Williams for already doing the heavy lifting!

  • Continued focus on: 
    • Senator Murphy (D-CT) - Thank you Billy S, Billy M, Jack K and Desmond for the hard work! 
    • Senator Heller (R-NV) - Thank you again to our hero Larry Rudolf for sending another strongly worded letter asking Sen. Heller WTF? (much more nicely than that though)
    • Senator Cornyn (R-TX) - Lets start a pile-on of TX musicians, shall we?
    • Senator Warren (D- MA) - Perhaps take a Labor Day-ish approach of fair wages for working artists and songwriters in your tweets and posts.  Will have slides to share by the weekend.

Our “Things to Do” list keeps getting shorter.  Thank you everyone so very much!

Report: 08/29/2018

Image 8-29-18 at 11.58 AM.jpg

Still reeling from how we got from here:

Variety Article: Songwriters Blast Senator With 'Why Do You Hate Music?' Billboards

To here:

Music Modernization Act May Clear Hurdle After Reaching 'Handshake Deal' With Senator Wyden: Exclusive

In less than 24 hours...

But we’ve been asked by Coons's office - who is directly negotiating with Wyden’s office - to stop talking to press about any agreements until language is agreed-upon.  This is still in the beginning stages and somewhat volatile.

Of course, the billboards stay up until an agreement is reached.

Second, we’ve been asked to focus on these six senators who have yet to co-sponsor:

  • Heller (R-NV)
  • Cornyn (R-TX)
  • Rubio (R-FL)
  • Murphy (D-CT)
  • Warren (D-MA)
  • Cantwell (D-WA)

This morning we’re launching a full-scale onslaught at Senator Rubio with Pitbull, Emelio Estefan, Rudy Perez and Desmond Child leading the way! 

FLORIDA constituents  - Let Senator Rubio hear about the MMA! 

We also have many Massachusetts folks on here - Ask Senator Warren to please sign on!

Attaching some updated slides for you to use!


August 29th Who Needs To Sign
NMPA Contact Info

Instagram allows you to tag 10 usernames in each comment. Copy & paste these groups into the comments anytime you see this graphic posted to Instagram!

@senjohnbarrasso @ronjohnsonwi @maria.cantwell_ @senatorwarner @berniesanders @senmikelee @johncornyn @sentedcruz @lindseygrahamsc @senjackreed


@senpattoomey @senbobcasey @ronwyden @senjeffmerkley @senatorlankford @chuckschumer @deanheller @senatortomudall @senatormartinheinrich @bobmenendeznj 


@bensasse @senatorjontester @djstabenow @senwarren @randpaul @senatemajldr @donnellyforindiana @marcorubiofla @senatorcarper @chrismurphyct


@sencorygardner @tomcottonar @jeffflake @sen_dansullivan @senatorshelby

Kevin Cronin's Letter to Senator Duckworth

Hello Senator Duckworth,


My name is Kevin Cronin. I was born and raised in Illinois (and proud of it) and I am the lead singer, producer, and principal songwriter for my band, REO Speedwagon. REO was formed in a dorm at the University of Illinois in Champaign, and has gone on to tour the world and sell over forty million albums. The band just completed our 2018 U.S. tour in front of sold-out arenas and amphitheaters, including over 16,000 fans at the Allstate Arena (formerly the Rosemont Horizon). We are greatly honored to have just been voted the Number One Musician in the History of the State of Illinois as part of the Bicentennial Celebration, and will be performing at the United Center this coming December. Without the songs, none of this would have been possible.

I am writing to you today to ask you to co-sponsor the Music Modernization Act.

I am lucky to have grown up in an era of music where our great country’s copyright laws not only fully protected the intellectual property of us songwriters, but also ensured a fair division of the income derived from our works. Unfortunately, in this day of music “streaming” all that has changed. Those who established the original copyright acts could not possibly have foreseen the advances in technology that have resulted in the current methods of delivering music to the public. Rather than buying a physical album at an actual store, fans now simply sign up for a “streaming service” which provides them with any music they want for a monthly fee.

Streaming services only exist as a result of the songs which they stream, but because the existing copyright laws have not kept pace with the advance of technology, the Spotifys, Pandoras, and Sirius XMs of the world have not been required to negotiate with songwriters for a fair, market based royalty rate. It would be nice if the streaming services had simply done the right thing, and equitably compensated songwriters out of a sense of fairness. But these are businesses which are looking out for only their own interests; if they have a chance to take advantage of legal loopholes, they will.

Simply put, we need your help. The Music Modernization Act unanimously passed the House of Representatives, but is still in need of support in the Senate. This law serves to level the playing field for songwriters in the digital age, as well as fixes a loophole that digital radio services have used to withhold compensation from artists whose music was released before 1972. Classic artists such as Dionne Warwick, The Doors, The Mamas and The Papas receive nothing for their pre-1972 works.

As a person who feels deeply that one of the jobs of government is to look out for citizens who are being ignored or taken unfair advantage of, I have noticed that you are a caring and fair-minded lawmaker. I feel proud that my home state has sent two progressive thinkers in yourself and Senator Durbin to represent the high road and our finer selves in Washington DC. 

I can only imagine how busy you must be in this turbulent political climate. On behalf of the American songwriting community I deeply appreciate your time, and hope you might consider taking on this important cause. I would love a moment with you to discuss this issue further and answer any questions you might have. I am not exaggerating when I say that the future of new music in our country hangs in the balance.



Kevin Cronin


Report: 08/28/2018

Hi there!  

So much happened today, I honestly couldn’t keep up!  

Senator Co-Sponsor Update:

  • Yesterday, we had Senators Portman (OH) and King (ME) agree to co-sponsor

  • Then earlier today (Tuesday), Senator Cardin (MD) came on board.

  • And finally, thanks to the amazing work of Shelly Peiken, Adam Gorgoni and Kevin Cronin, Senator Duckworth is our newest co-sponsor! (see the letter from Kevin Cronin attached) ***Please tweet and post thank you’s from the music community***
  • From David Israelite: "I met with Rubio office this morning.  He will make decision in next 2 days.  Emilio Estefan is placing a call to Senator Rubio today, but we could use other Florida constituents to weigh in ASAP.”   ***Do your thing #MusicArmy!!! ***
  • And let’s stay on Senator Murphy (CT) as well. That would get us to “Two-Thirds By Thursday” :)

As of today we’re at 64 co-sponsors (65 with Senator Hatch)


Advocacy Update:

First of all… BAM!!! :)

Variety Article: Songwriters Blast Senator With 'Why Do You Hate Music?' Billboards

Plus tweets and calls from Oregonian artists and songwriters: 

GRAMMY Advocacy Tweet
Portugal The Man Tweet
Melinda Newman Tweet


Billboard Article: Music Modernization Act May Clear Hurdle After Reaching 'Handshake Deal' With Senator Wyden: Exlusive

YOU GUYS!!!!  


HUGE shout out to Mitch and Joel and their team for working some kind of miracle around this.  

As of yesterday, the Senator Wyden hurdle seemed impossible.  

Regarding Gardner, the word is we’re close to resolution on his issue as well.  Here is a great op-ed by David I in response to SIRIUS’s lame one. Music Business Worldwide Article: The Trouble With SIRIUSXM's Opposition To The Music Modernization Act

Folk Alliance International

Also, attaching a letter from Folk Alliance to their US Members in support of the MMA.

Bottom line: Creators are going to get this across the finish line!!!  We can’t celebrate yet, but wow… we are so close.


Thank you!!  Keep fighting!