NMPA President David Israelite Discusses The Latest Issues In The Battle For Songwriters & Publishers To Be Paid Higher Royalties

In depth interview with Songwriter Universe


May 4, 2016

By Dale Kawashima

With music streaming rising fast as the number one way for music fans to hear music, every songwriter wants to know—What’s the latest news in the battle for songwriters & music publishers to be paid higher royalty rates?

As we have done in two, previous articles (December 2014 and May 2015), we are pleased to interview David Israelite, President & CEO of the National Music Publishers Association (NMPA). Israelite is one of the top music execs leading the way in the battle for music publishers & songwriters to be paid fairly from all revenue sources.

In fact, Israelite has stepped up to the forefront, recently negotiating an estimated $30 million agreement with Spotify over unpaid royalties. He brokered a settlement between Spotify and NMPA’s constituents, over unmatched royalties (songs that haven’t received payment yet because Spotify didn’t identify their publishers).

In this new interview, Israelite discusses the latest developments with mechanical licensing and performance licensing. He explains how the music publishing industry is still awaiting a crucial decision by the Department of Justice on the status of consent decrees, which have restricted ASCAP and BMI from negotiating higher, free-market rates with streaming companies such as Spotify, Apple Music, Pandora, Google, Amazon and Tidal.

Israelite also discusses the improved situation between music publishers and Pandora. In December, Pandora negotiated deals with major publishing companies which has led to a doubling of the meager rate Pandora had been paying. Israelite also explains the status of the Songwriter Equity Act, and when there might be progress on this proposed legislation. In addition, he talks about the new Copyright Royalty Board proceedings, which will set rates and terms of mechanical licenses.

Before we start this interview, here is some information on the NMPA and Israelite. Founded in 1917, the NMPA is the trade association representing all music publishers and their songwriting partners. The NMPA’s mandate is to protect and advance the interests of music publishers and songwriters in matters relating to the domestic and global protection of music copyrights. The goal of the NMPA is to protect its members’ property rights on the legislative, litigation and regulatory fronts. Most of the major and independent music publishing companies are members of the NMPA, including top execs from Sony/ATV Music, Universal Music Publishing Group, Warner/Chappell Music, Kobalt Music Group, BMG Rights Management, peermusic, SONGS Music and Disney Music Group.

Israelite has been the head of the NMPA since 2005. He is an attorney who served as Deputy Chief of Staff and Counselor to the Attorney General of the United States. In March of 2004, the Attorney General appointed Israelite Chairman of the Department’s Task Force on Intellectual Property.

Here is our new Q&A interview with David Israelite: READ HERE: http://www.songwriteruniverse.com/david-israelite-nmpa-2016.htm