The U.S. Department of Justice recently announced that it would be reviewing the ASCAP and BMI consent decrees. These decrees, originally entered into in 1941, emanated from lawsuits brought by the United States against ASCAP and BMI to address concerns of possible anti-competitive practices arising from the market power each organization has as a result of its aggregation of public performance rights.
“Unfortunately, the decrees that were originally meant for ensuring a fair marketplace have, over time, become an impediment to fair licensing,” says Hunter Williams, Executive Director of the Production Music Association. “Moreover, they have subjected songwriters, composers and publishers to an onerous, regulatory obstacle course that encourages big media companies to thwart fair and timely payment to them. We are so relieved to see the DOJ finally re-visit the relevance, or even need, for such regulatory oversight into today’s dynamic music marketplace.”
As part of their review, the DOJ invited interested parties to submit their comments on whether or not the consent decrees are effectively working. You can read the PMA’s full comments here. [gview file=”https://secureservercdn.net/184.108.40.206/33f.e12.myftpupload.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/08/DOJ-Comments-Consent-Decrees-v3.docx”].