The U.S. Department of Justice recently convened a series of workshops to review “competition in licensing in public performance rights.” For a government agency considering seismic changes to music licensing laws, it was well-intentioned and an appropriate exercise. Regrettably, however, the conversation lacked the critical perspective of numerous voices, including the music streaming services and…
The new chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee is sending a clear signal to the Dept. of Justice not to throw the music marketplace into chaos with proposed changes to the consent decrees governing ASCAP and BMI. Assistant Attorney General Makan Delrahim, who heads the Antitrust Division, has backed a “smooth transition” toward a “market-based”…
This July, no one in Hollywood was surprised to see his office lobby littered with a prescient edition of The Hollywood Reporter, whose cover story read, “Welcome to Hollywood’s Age of Anxiety.”
On May 14, 2018, the MIC Coalition sent the following letter to Assistant Attorney General Makan Delrahim urging the Department of Justice to leave in place the important protections in the ASCAP and BMI consent decrees that help maintain efficient licensing for music users and fair compensation to music creators.
On May 18, the Department of Justice (“DOJ”) is expected to file its opening brief in an appeal of a district court decision rejecting its interpretation of a consent decree entered into in 1941 (and amended since). The outcome of this appeal could have major and long-lasting repercussions for Internet radio and music streaming.
Although it hasn’t even been a full week since Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) was confirmed as attorney general, the special interests in the music industry are already trying to play head games with the new head of the Justice Department.
Jimi Hendrix’s famous lyrics “and so castles made of sand fall in the sea eventually” perfectly describe the U.S. Department of Justice Antitrust Division’s problems in the wake of rate court Judge Louis Stanton’s September decision to reject the DOJ’s interpretation of its consent decree with performance rights organization (PRO) Broadcast Music Inc.
Back in September, a judge ruled that fractional licensing is permitted under BMI’s anti-trust consent decree. The Department of Justice, which has taken the position that the consent decrees for both BMI and ASCAP require 100 percent licensing, has appealed that Second Circuit decision.