HISTORY OF SONA
In January of 2015, songwriting partners Kay Hanley and Michelle Lewis founded SONA (Songwriters Of North America) in response to the abysmal licensing rates being paid to music creators by digital streaming companies like Spotify and Pandora.
With their close community of working Los Angeles-based songwriters and composers and high-powered entertainment attorney and activist, Dina LaPolt, they quickly built up their ranks to become a prominent and respected voice on the leading edge of issues that face songwriters in the new digital music economy.
In the last few years, they played a pivotal role in the crafting, lobbying and passage of landmark copyright legislation, The Music Modernization Act.
SONA is a grassroots advocacy organization which was founded in January, 2015, by songwriting partners Michelle Lewis and Kay Hanley in response to the abysmal licensing rates being paid to songwriters by music streaming companies.
Since then, Lewis and Hanley have assembled some of the most fiercely passionate and hardworking people from all corners of the songwriting world to educate, strategize and mobilize.
For far too long, songwriters, creative people at heart, have been content to let our publishers, agents and PROs do the advocating while we do what we love and do well - write the songs that are the soundtrack to our lives. But in the new marketplace, songwriters cannot afford to be ignorant!
To this end, SONA hosts “Back To School” nights and guest speaker salons while providing materials to educate songwriters, beginning and seasoned, on the complex and constantly-morphing digital music industry.
In partnership with other advocacy organizations that have sprouted up worldwide, SONA is committed to assuring that songwriters’ livelihoods are protected and that the value of our songs is never sold out or taken for granted.
That we, the songwriters, have the final and definitive say on how our work is used and at what price. The current system dramatically undervalues our work, and - primarily because of government regulation - we are unable to negotiate in a free marketplace. This must change.
Change will not be easy. We are facing some of the largest corporations in the world, with the deepest pockets, and powerful lobbying efforts. SONA is countering this by grassroots political action: assembling our troops, meeting with congressional leaders and executives from all parts of the music industry. And, oh yeah, we sued the Department of Justice!
SONA believes that streaming media and songwriters can and will live happily together. We must get the rate right for ourselves and for future generations. And, we want a seat at the table. As we all know, if songwriters can’t make a living, who will write songs?
Can you imagine a world without music?