We’ve heard a lot of misleading rhetoric by blowhard broadcasting/webcasting lobbyists on Capitol Hill. Songwriters are somehow a threat to these multi-billion dollar corporations and so songwriters must be kept in the yoke of the DOJ consent decree.
Now let me give you some cold hard facts. Below is an actual example of the webcasters violating the terms under which they may receive a compulsory license. This is a “Notice of Intention” that they are legally required to file before playing one of my songs. It is outrageously deficient. Therefore they are illegally playing my music.
But this is not just an isolated example. I have dozens of these NOI’s and 90% of them appear deficient as they are notices of intent to distribute songs that have been made available for years. I have spoken to many other music publishers and songwriters. All of them agree that the majority of the NOI’s they receive are deficient. Usually because they are sent after the music service uses the songs. This appears to be mass copyright infringement. Mass copyright infringement is a RICO predicate. So why the hell am I the one under DOJ supervision?
Virtually all the digital media companies (except Apple) do it this way. I’m telling you, these people make Morris Levy look downright honest.
So why am I forced by the DOJ to let these mass infringers use my songs? Why does the federal government force me into a contract but then does not allow me to audit these companies. That’s right the federally proscribed compulsory license does not allow for an audit. I’m supposed to take these companies at their word. Companies that I can demonstrate are lying?
Yet industry groups representing these abusive web casters held a semi-secret “hearing” on Capitol Hill to urge Congress and the DOJ to not only keep songwriters under the consent decree but expand it!! This is essentially the bad guys running a protection racket with the DOJ as their muscle.
That’s why I protested this panel and gave the actual shirts off the backs of three songwriters to these lying and theft-enabling lobbyists.
This is songwriters “I’m as mad as hell and I’m not gonna take it anymore” moment. Let the DOJ know that you aren’t gonna take it anymore. They’ve asked for comments. Click here for instructions.
Let me explain specifically how this notice is deficient and therefore invalid. I also intend to send a more detailed report to DOJ.
First this notice was mailed on July 14th. So I received this notice before the listed date of distribution (July 23rd). So on July 22nd I checked to see if these songs were available on this service. They were. I even played the two newest. The other songs were released in the late 1980s. These songs were from a major label album that has long been available on this service. Yet they are only now getting around to sending the “Notice of Intention” to distribute these songs?
Finally since the service is exercising the compulsory license they are required to send me accounting statements monthly. Where are my statements? That’s another violation of the law!
Again it’s the webcasters that need DOJ supervision not Songwriters. I have dozens of these notices.