Publishing Industry Expresses Confusion, Concern Over Sweeping DOJ Decision

No Comments 5 July 2016

Publishing Industry Expresses Confusion, Concern Over Sweeping DOJ Decision

The music publishing industry - from performance rights organizations to individual songwriters - is up in arms over a dramatic decision last week from the Department of Justice, with several executives expressing “deep disappointment.” Billboard reports.

For over two years, music publishers and songwriters have petitioned the Dept. of Justice for changes to the 75-year-old rules they were governed by, requesting amendments in order to stave off dwindling royalty rates caused, in their view, by antiquated U.S. government regulations. Last week, in a decision one executive said would result in a “a clusterf—-k of epic proportions,” the DoJ announced that it would instead impose further rules on music publishers and songwriters - all who now fear a further recession for their royalties.

In addition to refusing to amend the consent decree to allow partial withdrawals for music publishers from ASCAP and BMI’s blanket licenses, the DoJ ruled that the consent decree requires those performance rights organizations (PROs) to engage in what’s known as “100 percent licensing” for songs with multiple songwriters - meaning a music licensee only needs a license from just one of the songwriters to utilize a song, instead of each of them. That’s in contrast to the traditional fractional licensing - which has up to now been the backbone of the music publishing industry - whereby rights holders can only approve usage of their portion of a work. Click on the link below to read moreā€¦

Author: Ed Christman, Billboard

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