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Library of Congress Hosts Ode to Copyright

Lawmakers and their spouses sat down to a performance of well-known hits at a Tuesday night concert in the Library of Congress.

“We love music,” Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., said of he and his wife, Kelley, who was also present at a reception before the concert. “I think one of the amazing things is to see the writers perform their own songs.”

“He loves to do things like this when I’m in town,” Kelley Paul said of her husband. “If I’m not, he tends to get sucked into his regular meetings.”

Rep. Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va., and her husband, Charles, also turned out to enjoy the music.

Artists from the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers played for a full house. Songwriter Elvin Bishop kicked off the night with his hit “Fooled Around and Fell in Love,” performed with Mickey Thomas. Siedah Garrett, the writer behind Michael Jackson’s “Man in the Mirror,” drew cheers and applause from the crowd for her performance of the famous song.

Garrett performs
Garrett performs “Man in the Mirror.” (Courtesy ASCAP Foundation)

Between numbers, they and other songwriters discussed the institution of copyright and reminded the audience that the lawmakers present held the power to protect intellectual property.

“I remember when the Napster guy said, ‘I just want to share the music,'” Bishop said. “My instant reaction was, ‘Man, why don’t you share something that belongs to you instead of something that belongs to me?'”

Rep. Melvin Watt, D-N.C., had the distinction of introducing the youngest performers, the Carolina Chocolate Drops. Their lively performance of “Your Baby Ain’t Sweet Like Mine,” complete with kazoo, scat, cello and percussion solos, drew a standing ovation.

“Oh, this is really incredible,” said Rep. Judy Chu, D-Calif. “It’s great that the community is coming together like this.”

Along with Rep. Howard Coble, R-N.C., Chu is co-chairwoman of the Creative Rights Caucus, which formed in March.

Also spotted were Sens. Pat Roberts, R-Kan., Roger Wicker, R-Miss., Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., Orrin G. Hatch, R-Utah, Tim Kaine, D-Va., and Reps. Marc Veasey, D-Texas, Doug Lamborn, R-Colo., and Jared Huffman, D-Calif.

Right to left: Paul Williams, ASCAP president; Sen. Roger Wicker, R-Miss.; and Sen. Tim Kaine, D-Va.
Left to right: Paul Williams, ASCAP president, Wicker and Kaine. (Courtesy ASCAP Foundation)

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