Dear PMA Member,
Over the past two years, the U.S. Department of Justice led a review of the decades-old consent decrees that govern how ASCAP and BMI operate. For years these two PROs, along with songwriters, publishers, and myriad of industry trade groups including the PMA, have lobbied for adjustments to the antiquated decrees that would align them with the realities of today’s media landscape. From permitting greater flexibility in the rights that ASCAP and BMI can represent, to updating the rate setting process and standards, these adjustments would benefit both music owners and music users by creating much needed efficiencies in today’s high volume and complex digital marketplace.
Recently, the DOJ concluded its review with an opinion that addresses none of these concerns. In fact, not only has the DOJ recommended no changes to the consent decrees, but it has also stated its belief that the consent decrees currently require ASCAP and BMI to license all songs in their repertories on a 100% basis, thus ending the long-standing industry practice of fractional share licensing.
The PMA is extremely disappointed by the DOJ’s opinion and strongly disagrees with its position. This would perpetuate the shortcomings of outdated consent decree rules and place new undue burdens on an already highly regulated marketplace, impacting the livelihoods of all songwriters and threatening the viability of the collective licensing system. This would not be good for the music community, and ultimately would not be good for music users either.
While the DOJ has issued its recommendation, this is not the final outcome. The PMA will support ASCAP and BMI in their efforts to explore all of their options in reaching a mutually-agreeable solution with the DOJ that is fair and balanced. We encourage members to contact our congressional champions, Reps. Judy Chu (D-CA), Doug Collins (R-GA), Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY) and Jerrold Nadler (D-NY). We are committed to advocating on behalf of our publisher and composer members, advancing the unique value of production music and working together to ensure a better future for our community.
The PMA Board of Directors