New York, NY – Today, the U.S. Department of Justice Antitrust Division announced that it has opened a review of its consent decrees with the nation's two leading performing rights organizations (PROs), ASCAP and BMI. ASCAP's longstanding Consent Decree was originally created in 1941 and last reviewed in 2001. As part of this review, the Department has invited public comments, which must be submitted no later than August 6th.
ASCAP President and Chairman Paul Williams offered the following statement regarding the announcement:
"We are gratified by the Department of Justice’s decision to open a formal review of the ASCAP and BMI consent decrees. Since the ASCAP decree was last reviewed in 2001 – before even the iPod was introduced – new technologies have dramatically transformed the way people listen to music. ASCAP members' music is now enjoyed by more people, in more places, and on more devices than ever before. But the system for determining how songwriters and composers are compensated has not kept pace, making it increasingly difficult for music creators to earn a living.
"ASCAP remains committed to working with the Department of Justice and all industry stakeholders to modernize the music licensing system so that it better serves songwriters, the businesses who depend on our music and the people who listen to it – not just today, but for generations to come. Updating music licensing regulations to reflect the realities of today's music landscape will preserve the benefits of collective licensing to businesses that license music, give consumers greater access to the music they love and allow the more than 500,000 songwriters, composers and music publishers we represent to be compensated for the true value their music brings to the marketplace."
A more detailed description of the Department's review can be found online here.
The American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) is a professional membership organization of songwriters, composers and music publishers of every kind of music. ASCAP's mission is to license and promote the music of its members and foreign affiliates, obtain fair compensation for the public performance of their works and to distribute the royalties that it collects based upon those performances. ASCAP members write the world's best-loved music and ASCAP has pioneered the efficient licensing of that music to hundreds of thousands of enterprises who use it to add value to their business - from bars, restaurants and retail, to radio, TV and cable, to Internet, mobile services and more. The ASCAP license offers an efficient solution for businesses to legally perform ASCAP music while respecting the right of songwriters and composers to be paid fairly. With 600,000 members representing more than 10 million copyrighted works, ASCAP is the worldwide leader in performance royalties, service and advocacy for songwriters and composers, and the only American performing rights organization (PRO) owned and governed by its writer and publisher members. www.ascap.com
Lauren Iossa, ASCAP