Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Marilyn Bergman Bails From ASCAP

Marilyn Bergman, a Oscar winning songwriter, has stepped down as president and CEO of ASCAP, according to Reuters.

ASCAP is notable as a royalties collection group for musicians and the people who own their music. In other words, an artist or songwriter registers with ASCAP to assure that every time their music is used -- be it in a commercial or film or on a compilation -- they are compensated. The group also serves as a lobbyist for copyright laws, a decidedly tricky area in the interet age.

As noted in the Reuters piece, for the 15 years Bergman was in charge, the group's most notable accomplishment as a 1998 law that added 20 years to copyright protection. Before, it was on the books as the life of the author plus 50 years, but now 70 years is the key number. Of course, he who holds the copyright, cashes the check and in today's era of a struggling recording industry, everyone is clamoring for a piece of the royalty pie.

Put simply, Bergman's successor has their work cut out for them.

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