The simmering row between Pandora and US songwriters is returning to the legislative arena, through a proposed law called the Songwriter Equity Act. Introduced yesterday in the US Congress, it aims to force the US Copyright Royalty Board to consider “fair market value” when setting mechanical royalty rates for songwriters and composers from digital music services. Representative bodies are unsurprisingly chuffed with the proposed legislation. “The current environment, where performances of sound recordings are valued at 12 times those of the musical compositions that underlie them, is untenable,” said BMI boss Michael O’Neill yesterday. “The Songwriter Equity Act represents an important step to inject fairness into a process that is undeniably stacked against songwriters and publishers,” added National Music Publishers Association chief David Israelite.

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