MIC Coalition Backs DOJ Action To Keep Consent Decrees
July 25, 2016 at 2:36 PM (PT)
The MIC COALITION of music users, including bars, restaurants, venues and streaming services, sent the attached letter supporting the DEPT. OF JUSTICE’s decision to keep in place the longstanding consent decrees which have governed music licensing by ASCAP and BMI for decades (NET NEWS 7/22).
Here's a link to the complete letter.
Additionally, MIC applauded DOJ’s clarification that the “blanket licenses” advertised by ASCAP and BMI, and detailed in their license terms and affiliate agreements, grant music users a 100% license to play any song in their repertoire. DOJ rejected ASCAP and BMI demands for “fractional licensing,” which would virtually gridlock music licensing, hurting music lovers, artists and songwriters alike.
Excerpts from the letter as follows:
“We congratulate you on the DEPARTMENT's work and your decision to preserve the decrees as currently written. The decrees guarantee the fair and efficient licensing of public performance rights for musical works.
“In addition, we concur with the DEPARTMENT’s conclusion that 100% licensing is necessary for a functioning music marketplace. The current blanket licenses, consistent with the license terms and affiliate agreements of ASCAP and BMI, do not limit the rights granted to licensees to 'fractional' interests in compositions in the ASCAP/BMI repertoires; rather, they grant licensees the right to perform the compositions in the ASCAP/BMI repertoires as a "whole" (whether the compositions are owned entirely by members of the same PRO or by co-owners affiliated with different PROs). Modifying the consent decrees to allow fractional licensing would gridlock the licensed music market and introduce a structure that amplifies the market power of fractional co-owners and all but guarantees widespread collusion among competitors. That would not be good for consumers, songwriters or artists, nor would it satisfy the public interest.”