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ASCAP was formed in 1913, shortly after the 1909 Copyright Law was enacted, supposedly prompted by the discovery (fictional) that beloved songwriter Stephen Foster died penniless while publishers became wealthy on his music (which did happen.) A system was set up, based on tabulating the publishing of printed sheet music and soon amended to include the sales of recordings, whereby the composer and/or writer would receive a royalty for each copy distributed. A royalty rate of about 1¢ was originally paid per copy; over the years the mechanical rate, as it is called, has risen to 9.1¢ per song in the last 90 years. The focus of the "PRO's" (performance rights organizations) and the music publishing industry in general have moved away from sheet music, becoming almostentirely focused on "performance" royalties. This is intended to be a way that owners of music can be paid when their musicis used in "public performances."

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NOTE: I first wrote this article in 1993 when I became intrigued with the complexity of the music licensing system, and to help educate those who are affected by ASCAP, BMI and SESAC. I have been tinkering with it ever since trying to keep it more up-to-date, since I want to help shed some light on a complicated situation that has a large impact on musicians, music listeners and public places where music happens. My experience is that musicians, venues and the general public know almost nothing of this system that has a great deal of influence in the music business, and involves nearly a billion dollars annually. These organizations exist by a strange set of legal circumstances, and are very little understood or regulated, yet they have a wide influence and control a lot of money in the modern music industry and in hundreds of thousands of places of business. A number of publications declined to publish this, not wishing to stir up too much trouble. There have been many edits and updates since it was written, and one of these days I hope to seriously research and update it or encourage a professional journalist to dig into it... I welcome your input to update this information if you find something incorrect. My only intent is to explain what I understand to be the way the system works, though my own opinion that we could design a better system no doubt creeps in.

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A number of issues that that need clarifying have arisen since this was written, and could use the services of a skilled journalist or investigator to look into. These include whatever changes have been made by insiders to ASCAP and BMI charters and bylaws, the emergence of SESAC as a larger player in this game, the complex issues of licensing Karaoke, games, podcasts, satellite, cable and internet music, as well as other changes involving the use of internet, television and video in public businesses. To the best of my knowledge, the basic system of licensing is still in place, and the explanation of its details is still accurate, and I would venture a guess that size of the "licensing empires" and the total dollar amounts of licensing money have gone much higher than the old numbers I give here.

So, why is it important to write professionally and what constitutes professional writing.

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Some ideas to help formulate answers and support this connection can be found in the two following articles in which, authors address the relationship between reading and writing.

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Most of the time, it is difficult to write essays in English for many multilingual students like me, not only because we have to translate Chinese to English, but also because of the different styles of academic writing we learned in China.

In short, professional writing is writing at the next level with a purpose.

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English composition was never my choice subject and essay writing was not exactly the most joyful assignment at the high school but there were indicators that writing skills would play a crucial role in my future life, irrespective of which career I c...

In short, professional writing is writing at the next level and with a purpose.

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Dissecting the Japanese Culture Nihon Bunka wo Yomu For Amazon com Japanese companies tend to place importance on education in the hiring process so we recommend you write your school history in as much detail as possible

Writing can occur in a personal letter or a business letter, essays, stories, and music....

This Study Guide addresses the topic of essay writing

In the first piece titled The Reading-Writing Connection, author Olness (2005) offers insight to this connection by assembling many teachers and researchers information on the connection between reading, writing, and the value of quality children’s literature....