A group of songwriters formed a group called Pact and published an open letter asking the recording artists to stop asking for songwriting credits and stop releasing songs that the artist didn’t write, reports Variety. The list of signatories so far includes songwriters Emily Warren, Tobias Jesso Jr., Tayla Parx, Justin Tranter, Toss Golan, Amy Allen, Lennon Stella, Shae Jacobs, Sam Harris, Deza and Joel Little. Many of these songwriters have written hits with big stars.
“This group of songwriters will not pay any publication or songwriting credit to anyone who has not created or altered the lyrics or melody, or otherwise contributed to the composition, without an appropriately equal / meaningful exchange for all of the songwriters,” the group promised .
Alongside an explanation of the pay gap when streaming on Spotify, a statement posted on Instagram explains how publishing is the single main source of income for songwriters compared to the many potential sources of income for recording artists (including touring, merch, brand partnerships, and more).
This disclosure requirement can often arise because of the artist and / or his representative abusing leverage, employing bullying tactics and threats, and falling victim to writers who may choose to give up some of their fortune rather than completely losing the opportunity to lose. Over time, this practice of artists publishing publications has normalized. and until now there has been no real unity within the songwriting community to fight back.
“The tremendous practice of a recording artist of asking, pressuring, or even forcing a songwriter to give up the songwriting credit and a percentage of the income of a song when he was not involved in the writing of that song, unfortunately, was decades as usual.” said songwriters from North America in a statement. “But in the digital age, where artists and labels already generate most of the income from streaming, the demand for a piece of our work comes to our knees when we’re already down, and it’s just greedy and cruel. SONA’s working songwriters and composers support The Pact and will support any songwriter who stands up and speaks out against this unfair practice. “