[Congressional Record Volume 160, Number 25 (Tuesday, February 11, 2014)]
[Extensions of Remarks]
[Page E199]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]




    CONGRATULATING ASCAP ON 100 YEARS OF PROTECTING SONGWRITERS AND 
                               COMPOSERS

                                 ______
                                 

                          HON. JERROLD NADLER

                              of new york

                    in the house of representatives

                       Tuesday, February 11, 2014

  Mr. NADLER. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to recognize ASCAP, the 
American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers, on its milestone 
100th birthday.
  In February of 1914, a group of prominent American music creators and 
publishers met at the Hotel Claridge in New York to discuss a noble 
idea: a society that would champion and protect the rights of music 
writers and publishers by licensing the public performance of their 
music. The result was ASCAP, officially formed 100 years ago as of this 
Thursday, February 13th.
  ASCAP's earliest members included John Philip Sousa, Irving Berlin 
and James Weldon Johnson--enormously important songwriters and 
composers of the early 20th century, and still beloved by Americans 
today. Since then, ASCAP's membership has grown exponentially. It 
currently has nearly 500,000 creators and publishers of music of all 
genres, and licenses the public performance of more than nine million 
musical works.
  The society's membership includes countless musical luminaries past 
and present, from Duke Ellington to Katy Perry, George Gershwin to Jay 
Z, Leonard Bernstein to Beyonce, Marc Anthony to Brad Paisley, Henry 
Mancini to Hans Zimmer. Equally important, ASCAP also represents many 
thousands of writers whose names we might not recognize, but whose 
music we love.
  As a long-time member of the House Judiciary Committee, I can attest 
to ASCAP's commitment to protecting the creative and economic rights of 
its members, and to working with lawmakers to build a viable future for 
professional songwriters and composers. ASCAP is always willing to come 
to Washington with guitars in hand, to remind us that every music 
creator is a small business owner who helps drive the US economy as 
they provide the soundtrack to our lives.
  I can also attest to the important cultural and economic 
contributions made by the 3,500 ASCAP members in my congressional 
district. ASCAP members write the music for Broadway musicals; compose 
the theme songs and scores for the many movies and TV shows filmed in 
Manhattan and Brooklyn; and write the musical compositions performed by 
many New York recording artists. They are an integral part of the 
cultural and economic fabric of my district.
  ASCAP's centennial comes at a critical juncture for music and 
copyright. The modes of music consumption are changing rapidly, and the 
future for songwriters has never been less clear. While ASCAP is 
uniquely positioned to help its members navigate this uncertain future, 
it is also hampered by a regulatory structure that has not evolved 
along with the music landscape. That antiquated regulatory structure 
prevents ASCAP from licensing new services in ways that balances the 
needs of music creators, licensees and consumers. Those rules need to 
be updated so that, in its second century, ASCAP can continue to enable 
songwriters to enrich our culture and uplift our souls while feeding 
their families and paying the rent.
  For 100 years now ASCAP has been at the forefront of the global music 
industry, nurturing new music talent and licensing every new music 
distribution platform, all in the name of protecting the songwriters, 
composers and publishers that call ASCAP home. I hope my colleagues 
will join me in recognizing its contributions and wishing ASCAP a 
second century as remarkable as its first.

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