A Message from Paul Williams to ASCAP Members About Judge Stanton's Rejection of DOJ Proposal on 100% Licensing

September 18, 2016

Dear fellow ASCAP members,

Back in August, we shared the news that ASCAP and BMI had joined forces to challenge the US Department of Justice’s (DOJ) decision on 100% licensing and modernize the outdated consent decree system.  

Yesterday, we celebrated an important victory in this joint strategy. As you may have heard, federal Judge Louis L. Stanton, who oversees BMI’s rate court, issued an order rejecting the DOJ’s recent interpretation of the BMI consent decree, and concluded that BMI is free to engage in the fractional licensing of musical works. As our CEO Beth Matthews said in ASCAP’s public statement on the ruling, this is terrific news for our community of songwriters, composers and music publishers.

I know many of you are wondering what this means for ASCAP. As we review the potential impact of this ruling on ASCAP, we hope it will provide support for our ongoing work with BMI to modernize the regulatory system so that music creators and publishers can effectively compete in the global music marketplace.

The fact is songwriters and other music creators are struggling to keep up under an outdated regulatory system that is out of step with how the rest of the world works. We need laws that work in today’s music marketplace. Laws that work for both music creators and the businesses who use our music. And laws that enable us to compete in a global music economy.

Change won’t happen overnight. But we’re encouraged by this recent BMI rate court ruling. That’s why we’re going to keep charging ahead, working closely with BMI, other music industry stakeholders and our allies in Congress – of which, I assure you, there are many – to keep moving the music licensing system forward.

Together, I know we can protect songwriters, composers and the music we all love.

Sincerely,

Paul

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Read more about the DOJ's 100% licensing proposal, and ASCAP & BMI's joint strategy to challenge it