Justice Department to review ASCAP and BMI consent decrees regulating licensing of recorded music

Posted on: June 6, 2019

“The U.S. Justice Department said Wednesday it would review two consent decrees reached with music licensing groups ASCAP and BMI in 1941, a decision that could upend the business of licensing music,” reports Diane Bartz on Wednesday’s (6/5) Reuters.com. “The department said it planned to review settlements reached with the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) and Broadcast Music, Inc (BMI) to set how the organizations, which license most music in the United States, must operate. Companies that license music have worried about a sharp increase in costs if the system is changed because ASCAP and BMI license about 90 percent of music…. Songwriters and publishers hire the two organizations to license their songs to digital streaming services … radio and television stations and other music users…. The consent decrees may remain as they are, or be changed or scrapped altogether … ‘There have been many changes in the music industry … and the needs of music creators and music users have continued to evolve,’ said Makan Delrahim, head of the Justice Department’s Antitrust Division … The Justice Department will accept comments on the matter through July 10.”

Posted June 6, 2019