So in general, songwriters, singers, and musicians have always considered themselves friends of beer. Many have actually been paid in beer at gigs for years. On the flip side, beer has benefited from music, because let’s face it, sitting in a quiet bar without music is not conducive to friends talking for hours over drinks. There’s a new bill though brewing in Congress with just a little too much head, that Micro Breweries are supporting and songwriters will not be hoppy about if it ferments into law.
So the long and short of it is that the “Transparency in Music Licensing and Ownership Act” sets up an impossible set of hurdles for Songwriters to complete, or else they will lose the right to enforce their copyrights when royalties go unpaid, and they would not be able to recoup attorney fees either if they go after those royalties. You would have to register all your songs immediately in a mandatory federal database, plus include anybody who may ever possibly cover your song, and their catalog numbers and label names. This of course is ludicrous, and is asking songwriters to predict the future or lose their rights. I’m not sure why the Brewers Association is behind this bill, or even what’s in it for them. I’m actually not sure how much beer you would have to drink to think that this is in any way a good idea for anybody!
In conclusion, come on, really micro brewers? Songwriters already make next to nothing on streaming royalties, and have more government regulations than most major industries. Imagine if the government decided to force you to sell your beer at a certain price, and register each beer you make immediately even the ones you may make in the future, but don’t know about, or else you have to give it away for free. That sounds pretty ridiculous right? This will only help very large businesses that take advantage of songwriters. This absolutely needs to be stopped in Congress dead in its tracks. I will drink to that!