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Even Songwriters Have To Pay Rent

March 21, 1993

A letter from D. Nick Nixon (Feb. 7) made known his objections to payments for performance rights ("Play It Again Scam," by R. Daniel Foster, Palm Latitudes, Jan. 10). The money ASCAP and BMI collect from users of music goes to the songwriters and publishers involved. Often these royalties just about pay the songwriter's rent. Although it's true that there are a handful of successful artist-songwriters, most of them end up in debt to the record companies, which require artists to foot the bill for all recording costs, yet the companies get the lion's share of profits from record, tape and CD sales.

When people buy records, they're paying for the right to own them and listen to them privately. It does not give the purchaser the right to profit, at no cost, from the records or the music on them.

CYNTHIA SUMMERS

Los Angeles

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