§ 8(a)The flag should never be displayed with the union down, except as a signal of dire distress in instances of extreme danger to life or property.
The federal government through the combination of “temporary” 70 year old consent decrees and compulsory licenses has drastically limited songwriters rights and effectively collectivized all songs. A few songwriters until recently had managed to escape these overbearing limitations on rights by joining PROs other than BMI and ASCAP. But last week a former Google lawyer at the DOJ anti-trust division against the recommendation of the US Copyright Office rammed through a 100% licensing rule that effectively brings the last of the “free” songwriters under the consent decree.
There was no due process.
There were no new laws passed.
The last free songwriters did not consent to having their constitutional rights limited.
This was done apparently at the whim of a single unelected federal bureaucrat. All songwriters are now subject to the consent decrees. This is effectively a bill of attainder against all songwriters. These kinds of governmental actions upset our founding fathers greatly. For this reason they expressly forbid the practice under Article One Section 9 of the US Constitution.
Are songwriters some sort of existential threat to our way of life here in the US? Doesn’t it seems like the Department of Justice has more important things to do? Surely making it cheap and easy for a few politically connected corporations to license music should not be at the top of the list.
As a result of this action the federal government now effectively fixes prices and compels ALL songwriters to license for the following uses:
Digital Music Channels
Non-Interactive Streaming (ex Pandora etc)
Interactive Streaming (ex Spotify)
Netflix, HBOGO etc
Digital Downloads (Google Play, iTunes Store)
Public performance in venues
Music in stores and restaurants
Music onboard commercial aircraft
The only significant free market exception left:
Songwriters are still free to name their price for the initial “sync” fee for use of a song in TV, film or commercial. But all subsequent royalties from broadcast are set by feds. Not surprisingly songwriters are paid reasonably well for “sync” uses.