Lapas attēli

The bottom line is that there is no reason at all why small businesses across New Hampshire and the United States should have to pay just to have the radio playing in their hair salon or the TV on in a bar. It's just plain

not fair and it has to stop now

that is why I am

supporting and working to pass H.R. 789.

In closing, I would like to commend the National

Restaurant Association for their hard work and

dedication and to thank all Members of the Music

Licensing Fairness Coalition for addressing this issue of

great importance to small business owners. I look

forward to the testimony.

Statement of


On behalf of the

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My name is Pat Alger, I live in Nashville, Tennessee, I

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Composers, Authors and Publishers, and I serve as President of

the Nashville Songwriters Association International.

I have

attached a biography to my statement which lists some of the songs I have written over the years, songs I hope the members

of the Committee have enjoyed.

I am proud to say that I have

been an ASCAP member for many years.

It is fitting that I testify before this Small Business

Committee, because I am about the smallest businessman you can


Songwriting is my profession and my livelihood.


what I have to say applies to just about every songwriter you can think of, from the most successful to the rank beginner.

I say I am a very small businessman because I have no one

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I have no staff, no secretary, no factory, no office.

The intangible "product" that I create

comes solely from my mind. If I am to be successful, the song the intellectual property I have created must leap enormous hurdles before

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songwriters are not hired to do their job, they must find work

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and notes together in a way that they think may have a chance,

they have to find a publisher willing to publish it.


they must find an artist willing to perform it.

Then they

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If my songs are successful, businesses are using them all

across the country

using them to enhance their appeal to

the public and make money from them.

When my songs are used

by a radio station in Oregon, or a restaurant in Illinois, or

a hotel in New Hampshire, it is because they think that music

will help their businesses.

Oliver Wendell Holmes said it

well 80 years ago

"if music did not pay, it would be given


Payment for the use of my musical property is the only

thing that enables me to stay in my profession.

And I have

always believed that payment for the use of property is the core concept of our country's economic system.

As I told you, I live in Nashville.

There is no way that




any songwriter, individually know if those businesses all across the country are using our music, no way



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can individually contact them all, and individually collect fair payment for their

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property. There's also no way that I can deal on level playing field with these powerful businesses like chain

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publishers formed ASCAP in 1914, and why organizations like

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organizations, we can find uses of our music, license them at

a fair fee, and, if the user refuses to comply with the law,

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royalties, I and my colleagues would have to do something else

and we wouldn't be able to create America's music.

Yet what

sort of burden do these payments for my property place on its


The average cost to a restaurant for the right to use

my music and the music of all my fellow members of ASCAP is

$1.58 a day.

Indeed, 80% of ASCAP's licensees pay less than

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You can imagine that I therefore get pretty hot under the

collar when I hear music users

say that there's something

unfair about the system.

What, exactly?

Surely it can't be

the price.

$1.58 a day is less than the cost of a drink!

Surely it can't be that ASCAP must allow anyone who requests

a license to use my property even if they don't agree with the

price. Surely it can't be that ASCAP must treat similar users


Surely it can't be that in a legal dispute over price

ASCAP, not the user of my property, must prove its fee is


Surely it can't be the fact that the amount the

music users in the United States pay to perform the world's

most popular music is practically at the bottom of the scale

among developed countries.

The fact is that there is nothing unfair about this

system unless it be that songwriters





disadvantage in comparison to the users of their music. As ASCAP's illustrious, late president Morton Gould put it: "I never met a music user who thought he was paying too little for music, nor a music creator who thought he was earning too


They pay lip service to the notion that creators like

me should be paid for the use of the property we have created, but what they really want to do is pay less and less and less,

or, if they think they can get away with it, nothing at all. That's an outrage, and you should be as outraged about it as

I am.

Now let's look at the particular gripes of the people who are seeking to tilt the playing field in their favor through

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