As a songwriter, I was disappointed to see Matt Tunstall’s misleading assertion in his Nov. 15 Post and Courier commentary that the Justice Department’s review of the ASCAP and BMI consent decrees could cause hundreds of South Carolina businesses “to raise prices and cut back on support for local artists.”
Here are the facts:
The Justice Department is reviewing decades-old regulations that artificially limit the value of songwriters’ creations, undercutting their ability to make a living.
ASCAP licenses these songs to all sorts of businesses, including streaming platforms, radio stations, bars and restaurants.
Small venues get access to millions of songs for roughly a few dollars per day, hardly the enormous expense implied.
Mr. Tunstall warns that, “the next James Brown or Brennan Lassiter could go unnoticed.”
We agree: Across America and South Carolina, songwriters’ livelihoods are threatened by outdated rules and business conglomerates trying to pay below market value for music that attracts their customers.
We’re simply asking for a fair review of the ASCAP and BMI consent decrees. How we consume music has changed, so why shouldn’t our regulations? If you’re truly trying to support your local musicians, pay them what they’re worth.
We hope Sen. Lindsey Graham and his colleagues in Congress will let this Justice Department review proceed.
We want every business that uses music to succeed. All we’re asking for is a system that allows songwriters to be paid a fair value for their work so they can succeed, too.
Surely that’s something we can all agree on.
West 57th Street
Bravo to S.C. Sen. Sandy Senn for thinking outside of two roundabouts proposed on James Island at Central Park Road and Riverland Drive. A traffic light will greatly reduce the risk of collisions where there are now no traffic controls. Yes, let’s try a traffic light first.
We need better engineering guidance on roundabouts. Their usefulness in certain situations needs to be better understood.
There has to be a relationship between traffic volume and circumference that produces the maximum safety.
A tight circle with multiple high-volume feeds would create a jalopy derby that would raise blood pressures and turn some folks into basket cases.
Before making a first cut, a surgeon must have a mental blueprint of the part of the body where the operation will occur. This is why structural visualization is especially useful for surgeons.
Structural visualization is also a necessary aptitude for navigating a roundabout.
But not all drivers can visualize their routes before entering a roundabout and can be terrified of them.
Synchronized and adaptive traffic management works even better in this situation.
If we really want to get smart about this, let’s use some of the available artificial intelligence coupled with wireless broadband to record vehicle speed and traffic density to improve flows across our congested roads.
It’s not rocket science, nor is a working traffic light.
S.C. Highway 174
A Nov. 17 Post and Courier letter to the editor from a veteran complained about the wait time for ordering free hearing aid batteries
When I was a child and complained about not having something, my father, God rest his soul, would smile and say, “I was sorry I had no shoes until I met a man who had no feet.”
I got the message.
A lot of people would like to have a free hearing aid and batteries as well as other benefits.
There are companies that would sell this person a hearing aid with rechargeable batteries, or someone who would sell him a hearing aid with free batteries for life.
CHARLES B. CAMPBELL
Pool has problems
The condition of the W.L. Stevens pool on Playground Road in West Ashley is utterly despicable.
The air around it has such a high chlorine content that everybody there is almost guaranteed to leave coughing.
Many of the hundreds of young and adolescent swimmers on the city team, which practices six times a week, experience headaches.
The sources of this include, among other, more technical issues: faulty air filters; the fact that the walls, actually large sliding doors, don’t open because they are sealed shut; and the roof, originally designed to be opened, is broken.
I would think the city would care more for the well-being of its swim team, if not for the health of the children on SMRT (Southern Marlins Racing Team).
If the administration can redo the Martin Luther King Jr. Pool downtown, then it can address these issues as well.
Orange Grove Road
I recently read about the last porn shop being closed in Columbia. Kudos.
Where are those who will stand up against the filth we see and hear every day in our society?
It is everywhere you go. What happened to common decency? Who says people want to see and hear this type of garbage in public?
When watching television, the list of programs I choose are quite short because there are so many body parts shown by women that I couldn’t care less about seeing.
I am sure that the programmers don’t care, and the participants are in it for the money. Have they no integrity at all?
The future will expose them to the trash they portray. A lack of clothing isn’t endearing to me or to others I speak to.
We are destroying our society from within. Do these actors have any idea as to how they look to most of us?
I remember former Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev pounding his shoe at the United Nations in the 1960s, telling America that the USSR would destroy us from within.
Well, guess what? We have arrived. Let’s care about choosing what we say, how we say it, when we say it and do it with an awareness of the effects on others.
Rep. Nancy Pelosi has described President Donald Trump as asking for a favor from a foreign politician as bribery.
Are campaign contributions also considered to be bribery? Do campaign donors and lobbyists expect to get nothing in return for their millions in contributions except good government?
I’m sure our own South Carolina politicians wouldn’t even consider directing government money to a local project just to help them get reelected.