Foundation for Musicians and Songwriters

Representing the artist that would otherwise not have a voice

Category: Music Copyrights

Prince’s Estate Signs With Universal Music Publishing

Universal Music Publishing Group announced Wednesday (Nov. 2) that it is the exclusive worldwide publishing administrator for Prince’s entire song catalog — released and unreleased — effective immediately. Terms of the deal were not disclosed, although a source tells Billboard it is a “long term agreement.”

According to the announcement, UMPG is “responsible for servicing and administering Prince’s expansive catalog of songs” and will “work closely with the artist’s estate to develop new creative outlets for his music.” Before his death, Prince and his staff managed his publishing catalog, with Peermusic handling back-office administration, after an earlier UMPG contract ended in 2013.

UMPG chairman and CEO Jody Gerson, said to be the company’s key negotiator in the deal, said in a statement, “We’re humbled to be entrusted with Prince’s catalog and I’m grateful to my entire team for their work in making this agreement a reality. With the timelessness and genius of Prince’s music, there are no limits to what we can achieve working with his estate. Prince’s popularity will only continue to grow around the world.”

Lucian Grainge, chairman and CEO of Universal Music Group, said, “I congratulate Jody and her team on this landmark deal. Since joining UMPG as chairman and CEO in 2015, Jody has done a remarkable job at developing and signing some of the most important songwriters and recording artists in contemporary music highlighted by the addition of Prince’s incredible catalog of work.”

Bremer Trust, the court-appointed temporary special administrator of the Prince Rogers Nelson Estate, hired longtime Prince associates Charles Koppelman (who, as head of EMI Records, signed Prince to his first post-Warner Bros. deal in 1996) and L. Londell McMillan (who was the artist’s manager and/or attorney for more than a decade) and as advisers on the musical holdings. They commented in a statement, “We are pleased that UMPG shall once again administer Prince’s music publishing worldwide and assist the estate by giving Prince’s iconic music catalog the proper care and support it deserves. With this major agreement, the estate maintains ownership of Prince’s music, and now legions of fans from around the world will have even greater opportunities to continue to delight in his incomparable songwriting and musical expression.”

Negotiations for the licensing rights to much of Prince’s overall catalog, as well as to four decades’ worth of unreleased material, are ongoing. The advisers are considering multiple offers, McMillan confirmed to Billboard earlier this month.

Prince’s longtime label Warner Bros. announced that it had secured the rights to the first releases since the artist’s death on April 21: a 40-track greatest-hits compilation called Prince 4Ever, out Nov. 22, and a deluxe edition of Purple Raincontaining a full album of unreleased material, out early next year. The albums are likely the first of many to come from the singer’s vast archive of recordings. In the years after Prince’s initial deal with Warner Bros., which spanned from the beginning of his professional career in 1977 to 1996, the artist — who railed against the traditional label system and doggedly (and, at times, dogmatically) insisted on controlling the rights to his own work and likeness — struck many different one-off deals with labels and streaming services, and even returned to Warner Bros. in 2014 for a pair of new albums, and a renegotiation that saw him gaining at least some of the rights to his Warner catalog.

One high-placed source opined to Billboard that the recorded-music deal is “Warner’s to lose,” citing Prince’s long history with the company and the good will fostered by the 2014 deal.

Since his death on April 21, Prince has sold 1.95 million albums and 4.9 million song downloads in the U.S. through the week ending Oct. 6, according to Nielsen Music.

As for performance licensing, Prince withdrew from ASCAP effective Jan. 1 2015, but his music is still available from that PRO for licenses that were in effect as of that date. ASCAP says that some of those licenses-in-effect expire at the end of this year, while others will continue in effect for several years. So whatever PRO signs a deal, will even get the Prince catalog for ASCAP licenses expiring at the end of this year too, like the one with Radio Music Licensing Committee. A source tells Billboard that the estate is still in the process of selecting a PRO and a decision is expected in the coming weeks.

Prince apparently did not leave a will, which has made the management of the estate deeply complicated.

About the Foundation for Musicians and Songwriters

The Foundation for Musicians and Songwriters is an IRS 501c3 Public Charity that is dedicated to helping Musicians and Songwriters develop their careers in the Music Industry.  We do so without taking a penny or rights from the artist we represent.

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Apple proposes flat streaming music royalties for songwriters

Apple has submitted a proposal to the U.S. Copyright Royalty Board that would simplify streaming royalty rates paid to songwriters, and significantly increase the rates paid by Spotify and other services that offer free, ad-supported music streaming.

A report by Ben Sisario for the New York Times surfaced the company’s submission to the Copyright Royalty Board. Amazon, Google, Pandora, Spotify and the Recording Industry Association of America are also expected to weigh in with their own proposals.

The Copyright Royalty Board is accepting input on future statutory rates that would be applied to downloads and interactive streaming services starting in 2018.

Apple recommended a set songwriting royalty of 9.1 cents per 100 song streams, to replace existing complicated federal streaming rules that enable its competitors—particularly Spotify and YouTube—to offer free streams of music that effectively pay artists very little and devalue music playback as a service.

“An interactive stream has an inherent value,” Apple’s proposal states, “regardless of the business model a service provider chooses.”

Apple Music does not offer a free “interactive” streaming tier as Spotify does, or as Google enables on YouTube. Increasing royalty rates to a flat minimum would make it much more expensive for Apple’s streaming rivals to offer unpaid streaming services, as advertising would not cover the difference.

The music industry has increasingly complained that free streaming services don’t pay enough in royalties, and that the easy access to libraries of artists’ music on sites like YouTube essentially erase the demand for paid services that deliver artists higher royalties.

In an interview last month, Nine Inch Nails frontman and Apple Music Chief Creative Officer Trent Reznorsaid of YouTube’s unpaid streaming services, “it is built on the backs of free, stolen content and that’s how they got that big. I think any free-tiered service is not fair. It’s making their numbers and getting them a big IPO and it is built on the back of my work and that of my peers.”

Apple currently pays out about $7 in royalties for each $10 monthly Apple Music subscription. The company’s last report on subscribers stated that it had 15 million paid subscribers.

Spotify says it has 30 million paid subscribers, but it also provides a “fremium” unpaid tier of interactive streaming service to another 70 million users, who also hear ads. Apple complains that Spotify’s unpaid tier hurts the industry and artists.

In turn, Spotify has complained that in order to reach iOS users in the App Store, it has to pay Apple a cut of subscriptions sold through the App Store. It does not have to pay Apple anything for subscriptions it sells on its own.

About the Foundation for Musicians and Songwriters

The Foundation for Musicians and Songwriters is an IRS 501c3 Public Charity that is dedicated to helping Musicians and Songwriters develop their careers in the Music Industry.  We do so without taking a penny or rights from the artist we represent.

To Subscribe to our Music News Updates, Click Here

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Brandy Refiles Lawsuit Claiming on Paper she is a SLAVE

Grammy Award-winning singer Brandy is seeking at least $270,000 in a lawsuit that’s been refiled against Chameleon Entertainment and its president/CEO Breyon Prescott. She is also seeking a court declaration that she is contractually freed from Chameleon. Described in its introduction as “Kesha Redux,” but without the rape allegation, the complaint was filed July 18 in Supreme Court of the State of New York.

“I’m as free as a bird in my mind,” Brandy tells Billboard. “But on paper, it looks like I’m a slave. And I’m not a slave. The kind of deal I’m signed to should be criminal to any artist.” The singer is represented by Robert Meloni of the New York law firm Meloni & McCaffrey.

The 24-page complaint alleges that although Brandy was ready to honor the terms of her Chameleon contract, the defendants have not let the singer record or release any music for the past three years and have “effectively drained the lifeblood from Plaintiff’s recording career.” The suit further stipulates the defendants demanded that she relinquish rights to income from her concerts, acting roles, endorsements and other income-generating ventures in order to secure a 360 deal with Epic Records, where Prescott currently works as head of urban A&R — which Brandy has refused to do.

Brandy, who signed with Chameleon Entertainment in 2011, originally sued the label in Los Angeles Superior Court in March of this year. That lawsuit was dismissed earlier this month because Brandy’s recording contract with Chameleon contained a forum selection clause that specified all claims, disputes or agreements would be resolved through New York state or federal courts.

Brandy’s first Chameleon album, Two Eleven, was released in 2012 under the label’s then-distribution deal with RCA Records. Also as part of its deal with Brandy, Chameleon had the option to release four more albums by the singer. According to the complaint, Chameleon’s distribution pact with RCA ended after RCA decided not to exercise its option for another album in early 2013.

The suit further states that although Brandy was prepared to honor the contract’s terms, Chameleon refused to honor its obligation to fund the singer’s “second album as it was required to do (with or without a distribution deal in place).” The complaint also contends that preventing the singer from recording and releasing any music is “designed to effectively freeze Plaintiff’s career as an artist and force her to capitulate to its [Chameleon’s] onerous demands.”

“Although the contract expired by its terms when Chameleon committed this breach, the business reality is that no label will work with an artist so long as a label maintains this unlawful stranglehold over the artist,” Meloni, Brandy’s attorney, tells Billboard. “This is tantamount to a type of involuntary servitude. So, we need a court to declare Brandy is freed. This is not about publicity at all. It is simply about a great artist wanting to make great music, and being prevented from doing so by a label that not only failed to meet its obligations, but still professes to own her and then, when called to task in this lawsuit, publicly defamed her and insists on denying her that freedom.”

Addressing these allegations, a spokesperson for Prescott, appointed to his Epic executive post in February, issued this statement to Billboard: “Chameleon and CEO Breyon Prescott are disappointed that Brandy has resorted to conjuring fictitious accusations instead of constructively discussing her contractual concerns or status with a company and the colleague that she once stated as her biggest supporter. Her reckless words and accusations that she entered into a contract that is comparable to slavery, given the current state of the country, are irresponsible. Mr. Prescott wishes nothing but the best for Brandy and continues to state that her talent overall should overshadow any present day disputes.” Prescott is represented by Gary Adelman of the legal firm Adelman Matz in New York.

Brandy did release a new song, “Beggin and Pleadin’,” in January after the debut of her new BET series Zoe Ever After. Issued on the singer’s own label, Slayana Records, the costs of the recording and its accompanying music video were allegedly borne completely by the singer since Chameleon allegedly refused to contribute any funds.

According to the summons attached to the complaint, Chameleon Entertainment and Prescott have 20 days to appear and address the allegations.

About the Foundation for Musicians and Songwriters

The Foundation for Musicians and Songwriters is an IRS 501c3 Public Charity that is dedicated to helping Musicians and Songwriters develop their careers in the Music Industry.  We do so without taking a penny or rights from the artist we represent.

To Subscribe to our Music News Updates, Click Here

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Taylor Swift, Paul McCartney Among 180 Artists Signing Petition For Digital Copyright Reform

For the last three months, the music industry has been fighting — or at least negotiating in public — with YouTube.

Now, artists are adding their voices.

In an ad that will run Tuesday through Thursday in the Washington DC magazines Politico, The Hill, and Roll Call, 180 performers and songwriters are calling for reform of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, which regulates copyright online. A range of big names from every genre signed the ad — from Taylor Swift to Sir Paul McCartneyVince Gill to Vince StaplesCarole King to the Kings of Leon — as did 19 organizations and companies, including the major labels.

The Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), enacted in 1998, gives services like YouTube “safe harbor” from copyright infringement liability for the actions of their users, as long as they respond to takedown notices from rightsholders. In practice, labels and publishers say, this gives YouTube a negotiating advantage. The big labels and publishers have long had deals with the video service, but they have often said that the DMCA gives it leverage that services like Spotify don’t have. In March, the RIAA called this the “value grab.” Manager Irving Azoff, who organized the ad, has made DMCA reform a priority, speaking about the issue in February, when he accepted The Recording Academy President’s Merit Award at Clive Davis’ pre-Grammy Awards gala, and two weeks ago at the National Music Publishers Association annual meeting.

Artists are usually reluctant to get involved in copyright policy debates, but several signed an April 1 petition on the same topic. Like the petition many artists signed in 2012 against the Internet Radio Fairness act, which would have lowered online radio royalties, this represents a rare case in which most of the music business agrees on something.

The major labels are now negotiating new deals with YouTube — Universal Music Group’s contract has already expired, although the companies continue to do business on an ongoing basis. At the same time, the U.S. Copyright Office is conducting a study of the DMCA safe harbors as the U.S. House of Representatives Judiciary Committee is reviewing copyright law. This had made the DMCA an urgent issue for labels and publishers, which believe that YouTube’s free service makes it harder to convince music consumers to sign up for subscription services like Apple Music and Spotify. As performers and songwriters become more willing to speak out about copyright issues, the famously contentious music business seems to have found an issue it can unite around.

The DMCA, this week’s ad says, “has allowed major tech companies to grow and generate huge profits by creating ease of use for consumers to carry almost every recorded song in history in their pocket via a smartphone, while songwriters’ and artists’ earnings continue to diminish.” It suggests that the DMCA wasn’t intended to protect the kind of companies that benefit from it now — a subject that’s been debated by lawyers and policymakers as well — and asks for “sensible reform that balances the interests of creators with the interests of the companies who exploit music for their financial enrichment.”

YouTube has said it gets no advantage from the DMCA, since its Content ID system gives labels a way to remove or monetize their music, and 99.5 percent of music claims involve it as opposed to manual DMCA requests. This implies that Content ID is very effective, but it’s hard to know for sure, since no one measures how much music the system doesn’t identify. YouTube also points out that it has paid more than $3 billion to the music business, and that much of this revenue is generated by casual music fans who might not subscribe to other services anyway.

However, some online-based artists have been speaking out on behalf of YouTube. After Azoff wrote an open letter to YouTube last month, the video creator Hank Green, who runs the YouTube channel Vlogbrothers, responded with a letter than made the case that the service is good for the music business. On June 15, Green announced that he and other creators were forming The Internet Creators Guild to advocate for professional online creators. The guild will apparently not pressure online platforms for better terms, but it will “unify the voice of online creators to create change.” One wonders whether this unified voice could be raised to oppose those of music rightsholders, since Google, which owns YouTube, has sometimes argued that copyright enforcement suppresses online creativity.

Two other artists have been especially critical of YouTube. Trent Reznor, no stranger to technology given his role at Apple Music, told Billboard on June 13 that YouTube was “built on the backs of free, stolen content.” Nikki Sixx’ band Sixx:A.M. also wrote a detailed open letter to YouTube, appealing to Larry Page, chief executive of Google’s parent company Alphabet, to better compensate musicians. Last week, YouTube responded, in a statement to Music Business Worldwide that said “the voices of the artists are being heard.”

Now, it seems, those voices are speaking louder.

About the Foundation for Musicians and Songwriters

The Foundation for Musicians and Songwriters is an IRS 501c3 Public Charity that is dedicated to helping Musicians and Songwriters develop their careers in the Music Industry.  We do so without taking a penny or rights from the artist we represent.

To Subscribe to our Music News Updates, Click Here

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Prince Changed the Music Industry

The tragic death of the incredible artist known as Prince marks the end of a extraordinary music career.  Prince was a virtuoso on any number of instruments, a master arranger and producer.  Prince’s music was as diverse and versatile as his elaborate outfits.

His pursuit of complete artistic freedom – and legal protections for that freedom – will likely be his legacy.  His confrontations with record companies, streaming services and social media users inspired other artists to both demand artistic freedom and earn their fair share of profits.

Prince Purple Rain Live at the 2007 Super Bowl .  RIP Prince.

Prince was a Musical Genius at 19

In 1978, when Price was 19 years old, He signed with Warner Bros. and released his debut album, “For You.”  Prince is credited with playing every instrument and singing all of the vocals on the album.

Albums of this period typically relied on an army of producers, arrangers, composers and musicians. Michael Jackson’s album “Off the Wall” (1979), for example, credits nearly 40 session musicians and over 15 composers and arrangers. While it wasn’t a major success, “For You” revealed Prince’s budding genius and his desire to exert control over all elements of his work, allowing him to stay true to his artistic vision.

“For You” was the first in a long line of studio albums that Prince produced with Warner Bros. After the release of two other developmental efforts, he released “1999” (1983) and “Purple Rain” (1984), which established the showman as one of the most unique, diverse and dominant pop artists of the 1980s.

Contractual shackles

However, by the early 1990s, the relationship between Prince and Warner Bros. began to cool. After the success of “Diamonds and Pearls” (1991), Prince signed a six-album, US$100 million contract with the record company.

But the details of the contract led to a prolonged legal and creative battle concerning ownership of Prince’s entire Warner Bros. catalog. Under the contract, Warner Bros. received ownership of Prince’s body of work that he had produced for the company. For his part, Prince received a sudden influx of cash to continue working on recording projects at his Paisley Park Records studio in Minnesota.

As Prince grew increasingly frustrated that he had surrendered the rights to his music, the artist began to rebel by publicly appearing with “Slave” written on his cheek.

Prince with the words SLAVE written on his face.

Prince with the words SLAVE written on his face.

Prince changed his name to a symbol

Prince changed his name to a symbol,

which occurred after the artist

declared his former artistic self dead.

To meet the recording demands of the contract – which dictated that Prince needed to produce new albums under the Warner Bros. name – he opted to release prerecorded music to Warner Bros. His final release from this period, “Chaos and Disorder” (1996), is a hodgepodge of hastily written songs that serve as a tongue-in-cheek rebuke to Warner Bros., while allowing the artist to fulfill his obligations to the company.

Fighting for his rights

Given Prince’s public, prolonged dispute with Warner Bros., the damage may have seemed irreparable. However, the two sides renewed their working relationship in 2014, a move that restored Prince’s ownership of his earlier Warner Bros. releases.

Prince spent the last decade of his life fighting other areas of the music industry to ensure that his creative works were protected. In 2007, Prince and Universal Music sued a mother after she posted a video of her son dancing to a Prince song on YouTube.

Then, in 2014, the artist filed suit against 20 people who he claimed violated his copyright protections by either posting his songs online or by participating in file sharing services that posted his music. The complaint sought $1 million in damages from each person.

Focusing on Copyright Infringement

Prince’s lawsuits were meant more to draw attention to issues of copyright infringement than they were to ruin the finances of mothers and kids sharing files on the Internet. After those accused of violating copyright in the cases mentioned ceased their activity, Prince dropped the cases.

More recently, Prince, along with other artists such as Taylor Swift, began demanding that online retailers and streaming services pay better royalties to the artists whose music they play. In 2015, Prince pulled his music from most online vendors, opting to deal exclusively with Jay Z’s service, TIDAL.

Prince’s fight to protect his creative voice has reverberated to the most remote corners of the music world. Choral arrangers – who typically pay a license fee in order to access rights that they then arrange for choral groups – are barred from using the artist’s music as material.

Prince’s Legacy

Prince’s legacy as a brilliant and extraordinarily unique musician will endure in the nearly 30 studio albums that he produced.

But the artist should also be remembered for his work as an advocate for protecting the creative property of musicians and their music. Throughout his career, Prince’s willingness to engage in ownership battles over creative rights played a major role in the growing wave of discontent toward the music industry, now led by Jay Z, David Byrne and Neil Young, among others.

Just as “For You” displayed an artist in total control of his medium, Prince’s battle to maintain control over his music throughout his career will ensure that the legacy he leaves is in the exact voice that he intended.

About the Foundation for Musicians and Songwriters

The Foundation for Musicians and Songwriters is an IRS 501c3 Public Charity that is dedicated to helping Musicians and Songwriters develop their careers in the Music Industry.  We do so without taking a penny or rights from the artist we represent.

To Subscribe to our Music News Updates, Click Here

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Publishing Industry Expresses Confusion, Concern Over Dept. of Justice Copyright Decision

For over two years, music publishers and songwriters have petitioned the Dept. of Justice for changes to the 75-year-old copyright 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.

One possibly litigious result of the ruling could involve a songwriter going to court for all of the royalties for a song they co-wrote, potentially insisting that they should be disbursing those royalties to their co-writers, not whoever licensed the work. Another case involves songs built brick-by-brick, especially sample-based music — those works could potentially fall outside of the blanket licenses. Yet another: Works where there is an agreement between the songwriters that certain co-writers will not be allowed to license that work, forcing PROs to determine whether those agreements are in place and exclude the exempted co-writers from any blanket license.

The DoJ is said to be giving ASCAP and BMI one year to prepare for the shift to 100 percent licensing. If ASCAP and BMI choose not to adopt 100 percent licensing, the DoJ could file suit against them on antitrust grounds — the reason for the consent decrees initially — leaving a court to decide whether the PROs were in violation. Sources suggest that ASCAP and BMI’s rate court judges, the people responsible for setting statutory license fees, also have to sign off on the DoJ’s interpretation.

“The DoJ decision is very disappointing; it places unnecessary burdens on an already highly regulated marketplace, further impacting the livelihood of hundreds of thousands of songwriters,” BMG U.S. president of creative and marketing Laurent Hubert said in a statement on the decision.

Beyond lower royalties, music publishers and songwriters also fear that the new decision will fundamentally change the way music publishing has operated for 100 years. The DoJ’s decision “is going to cause a tremendous amount of uncertainty and chaos in a marketplace that has worked well… and will adversely impact everyone in the licensing process, including PROs, licensees, music publishers and most of all songwriters, who can ill-afford to hire lawyers to figure out their rights under this inexplicable ruling,” Sony/ATV chairman and CEO Martin Bandier said in a statement. “The decision raises more questions than answers.” Sony/ATV has been one of two majors leading the charge to get the consent decree amended.

“We are disappointed with the DoJ’s recommendation, which after years of hard work and discussion brings us no closer to much-needed consent decree reform than when we started,” BMI president and CEO Mike O’Neill said in an internal e-mail to his staff. “Instead, the DoJ chose to address only the issue of 100 percent licensing, a concept we never raised and one that the marketplace has worked out on its own over the last half-century.”

At ASCAP, CEO Elizabeth Matthews, writing on the organization’s website, addressed the organization’s songwriter members. “We want you to know that while the DoJ has expressed their views, this is not the final outcome of this process. ASCAP strongly disagrees with the DoJ’s position, and we are carefully considering all of our options, including potential legislative and legal remedies.”

Jody Gerson, chairman and CEO of Universal Music Publishing Group, the other major publisher pushing for changes to the consent decrees, wrote in an internal email to staff obtained by Billboard that her company’s management “believes that the DoJ’s decision is bad for songwriters, and we are deeply disappointed. The DoJ not only declined to update consent decrees that haven’t been updated in over a decade and badly need to be modernized for today’s market, but they also decided that ASCAP and BMI must engage in ‘100 percent’ licensing.” She predicted that 100 percent licensing will lead to “unfair prices that do not reflect the true value of the music that our songwriters create. It will also provide a disincentive to songwriters to work with fellow writers who are signed with a different PRO.”

Tim Nichols, a co-writer of Tim McGraw’s “Live Like You Were Dying” alongside Craig Wiseman, echoed Gerson’s concern in a statement. Nichols writes that he and Wiseman “belong to different PROs, and if 100 percent licensing had been in effect, I’m not sure we would have written that song. You would really be stepping all over writing relationships that are based on special creative chemistry.”

“This determination is completely inconsistent with the manner in which ASCAP and BMI have issued public performance licenses,” writes Warner/Chappell CEO Jon Platt in a statement released today (Jul 5), “It is especially alarming that the DOJ has come to this determination despite the overwhelming concerns expressed by ASCAP, BMI, NMPA, publishers, songwriters and even the U.S. Copyright Office.”

Meanwhile, National Songwriters Association president Lee Thomas Miller, in a statement, called the DoJ decision “unimaginable and the worst possible outcome” for songwriters. “Earlier this year in Washington, D.C., I explained to DoJ that our profession was already decimated, and that mandating 100 percent licensing could put the final nail in our coffin. I am stunned and sickened.”

Yet not everyone is so starkly disapproving. Public Knowledge, which positions itself as an advocate for both consumers and musicians, says it is pleased with the DoJ’s stance.

“It appears that the Department has agreed with our view that antitrust protections should not be removed at a time when the music publishing industry is more concentrated than ever,” says Public Knowledge’s Raza Panjwani in a statement. “The state of the marketplace, and recent bad behavior by the publishers, have made it clear that granting the music publishers the changes they requested would serve as a green light for additional abuse.”

Many music licensees, like the digital streaming services, agree with the DoJ’s view, arguing that the industry has been operating under 100 percent licensing all along. One streaming service executive goes so far as to say the DoJ ruling changes nothing. “As far as we are concerned, we have been operating under 100 percent licensing, because both the ASCAP and BMI license says that if you have one you can play any song in their repertoire,” he says. “The license doesn’t say you can only play their share.”

About the Foundation for Musicians and Songwriters

The Foundation for Musicians and Songwriters is an IRS 501c3 Public Charity that is dedicated to helping Musicians and Songwriters develop their careers in the Music Industry.  We do so without taking a penny or rights from the artist we represent.

To Subscribe to our Music News Updates, Click Here

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