Rosanne Cash Tells Congress: Pandora Is The Future, But Needs To Pay Musicians Fairly

Roseanne Cash chats with Rep. Doug Collins (R-Georgia) prior to testifying before the House Judiciary Committee. Her father, Johnny Cash, testified before the same panel in 1997. Image: House Judiciary Committee

Rosanne Cash chats with Rep. Doug Collins (R-Georgia) prior to testifying before the House Judiciary Committee. Her father, Johnny Cash, testified before the same panel in 1997. Image: House Judiciary Committee

Singer and songwriter Rosanne Cash was on a different kind of stage Wednesday. She testified in front of a congressional committee on the thorny issue of music royalties and online streaming services, such as Pandora.

Cash says she understands the way people listen to music is changing. But she says one service paid her just $114 for 600,000 streams of her songs.

“I want it to succeed, I see the future. I want all of us to succeed,” Cash said before a subcommittee of the House Judiciary Committee.  “But I just have to point out that all of these gentlemen on the panel would not be here if songs had not been written, and it’s in their interest to get us paid so we give them more songs. ”

You can read or watch Rosanne Cash’s testimony here.

The congressional panel heard from nine witnesses, from the National Association of Broadcasters to Paul Williams, president of performance royalty firm ASCAP. Williams says many of the problems could be solved if his group could issue blanket licenses, unlike the thousands of specific agreements they have to issue now. But those are forbidden a settlement reached with the federal government in 1941. The Justice Department announced earlier this month that it would review the settlement.

Cash’s testimony earned praise from other musicians, such as Jason Isbell:

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