Thank you Pandora: DOJ to Review ASCAP and BMI Consent Decrees #irespectmusic

MUSIC • TECHNOLOGY • POLICY

Score one for the songwriters.

After the travesty of the Pandora rate court decision, a lot of people (including MTP) have been banging the drum about the unfairness of the ASCAP and BMI rate courts.  Nowhere has the Kafka-esque absurdity of the rate courts been more prominently on display than in Pandora’s recent lawsuit against ASCAP songwriters.

But however much Pandora has galvanized the creative community in a united response against greedy, entitled Silicon Valley overreach, the first step in correcting this festering wrong is for the PROs to convince the Antitrust Division of the U.S. Department of Justice to review the 70 year old consent decrees which haven’t been reviewed since 2001 in the case of ASCAP–a year before Napster entered bankruptcy–and 1994 for BMI, a year before the Congress recognized a performance right in sound recordings.

Thankfully, the DOJ is reconsidering fundamental reform of the rate court process

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