Mar 18 2010

ASCAP’s Paul Williams: 30,000 Songwriters in the Making

I’m a songwriter. I’ve also been an actor, a performer, a public speaker, a husband, a dad and—currently—the president and chairman of the board of ASCAP (the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers). But I’ll always be a songwriter, because creating music is a big part of how I know I’m alive.

I’m worried for the future of this craft. People who create music have more tools, technology and options at their disposal than ever before. Yet the question of how they can and will make a living from their art has become a flash-point for attack, particularly online. An “attack mentality” has taken root, springing up at any mention of how creators should be compensated when their works are used in digital channels. And speaking frankly, it’s strangling the real dialogue that’s sorely needed.

Before I explain more, let me share some of the background that shapes my perspective.
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