Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Songwriters Unite to Support Steven Tyler’s Efforts to Bring Awareness to Issues Affecting Their Rights

Following legendary songwriter Steven Tyler’s very public crusade with Donald Trump over the use of his song “Dream On” at several campaign events, and the op-ed by Tyler published today on the Huffington Post, the Songwriters of North America (SONA) posted a blog on their website in full support of Tyler’s efforts to bring a needed awareness to issues affecting songwriters in the United States. Tyler’s efforts come at a pivotal time for songwriters in America as 75% of their income is heavily regulated by the government through the consent decrees enacted over ASCAP and BMI by the Department of Justice and other unnecessary government regulations. 
SONA was co-founded by Michelle Lewis (Cher, Little Mix, currently a full-time composer for Disney) and Kay Hanley (founding member of Letters to Cleo, currently a full-time composer for Disney). Other prominent members include Kara DioGuardi (Pink, Jason Derulo, Kelly Clarkson, Carrie Underwood), Anne Preven (Katy Perry, BeyoncĂ©, Miley Cyrus, Madonna), Claudia Brant (Latin GRAMMY Award winner, three-time SESAC Latina Songwriter of the Year, songs for Il Divo, Ricky Martin, Santana, Paulina Rubio), Victoria Horn (Katy Perry, Selena Gomez, Demi Lovato, Enrique Iglesias), Lindy Robbins (Jason Derulo, Demi Lovato, Hot Chelle Rae), Shelly Peiken (Christina Aguilera, Meredith Brooks, Brandy), Pam Sheyne (Christina Aguilera, Jessica Simpson, Corinne Bailey Rae), Danielle Brisebois (Natasha Bedingfield, member of New Radicals), Michael “Smidi” Smith (Miley Cyrus, Giorgio Moroder, Pussycat Dolls, Ke$ha), Jack Kugell (Martina McBride, Pussycat Dolls), and Andrew Rollins (composer for TV show “Nashville”). 
"We would like to thank a fellow songwriter, Steven Tyler, for shining a light on issues affecting songwriters’ rights,” says Michelle Lewis, Executive Director of Songwriters of North America (SONA). “His cease and desist letter to Donald Trump was not a political issue, rather an issue of vital importance to us songwriters which is the use of our music in political campaigns. We do not have the right to approve these uses because of overbearing government regulations. We hope this momentum from Steven’s efforts is carried forward to the broader discussion about the consent decrees that govern ASCAP and BMI and other outdated laws that dictate how our music is to be used and how we are paid. We must create mutually beneficial solutions for both songwriters and the digital community so we can effectively co-exist and thrive in the new music business.” 
Added David Israelite, President & CEO of the National Music Publishers’ Association (NMPA), “Steven Tyler is standing up for the rights of all American songwriters. Songs have value. And the use of those songs should be under the control of those who create them. It is only because of outdated consent decrees imposed during World War II that American songwriters don't have control of their songs. That needs to change.”
About SONA:
Songwriters of North America (SONA) is a legislative advocacy group founded by several high-profile songwriters to form a unified voice on legislative issues affecting their rights. At SONA’s first event in Los Angeles in April, over 100 songwriters gathered with creators’ rights advocate and SONA attorney advisor, Dina LaPolt, for a “Songwriter Summit” to discuss the consent decrees governing ASCAP and BMI and other important legislative issues like the Songwriter Equity Act, which is currently pending in Congress. SONA is rapidly growing in size as more songwriters hear their efforts in songwriter advocacy. Learn more at
About Dina LaPolt:
Dina LaPolt, Esq. is the owner of LaPolt Law, P.C., a boutique transactional entertainment law firm in Los Angeles that specializes in representing music creators. In addition to practicing law, Dina serves as an activist for creators and celebrities in the areas of privacy and copyright reform often becoming involved in legislative matters that affect the rights of her clients and advocating on their behalf. She is an attorney advisor to the GRAMMY Creators Alliance, a group formed to present a unified voice for music creators on legislative issues. This year, Dina was named to both the Hollywood Reporter’s Power Lawyers 2015 Top Music Business Attorneys and Billboard’s Music’s Most Powerful Attorneys. 
About the NMPA:
Founded in 1917, the National Music Publishers’ Association (NMPA) is the trade association representing all American music publishers and their songwriting partners. The NMPA’s mandate is to protect and advance the interests of music publishers and songwriters in matters relating to the domestic and global protection of music copyrights. Learn more at
For all press inquiries, please contact: 
Valerie Allen 
(310) 382-7800
For all NMPA related press inquiries, please contact: 
Charlotte Sellmyer 
(202) 431-7256

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