Department of Justice Launches Review of ASCAP, BMI Consent Decrees

Department of Justice Launches Review of ASCAP, BMI Consent Decrees

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WASHINGTON (CelebrityAccess) – The U.S. Justice Department announced Wednesday (June 5) that it would review two consent decrees originally reached with the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) and Broadcast Music, Inc (BMI) in 1941, in order to establish how the organizations, which license approximately 90% of music in the United States, must operate.

Under the consent decrees, the two organizations are currently required to license to anyone upon request, with pricing disputes being settled by a judge, however, a decision on the matter could seriously impact the business of licensing music to online companies, movie chains, commercials, bars and restaurants.

As part of its review, the department will also be looking over old consent decrees, many of which do not have an expiration date, with the intention of dropping those which are out of date.

The Justice Department will be accepting comments on the matter through July 10.

ASCAP and BMI are reportedly welcoming the review saying it will allow for an update of the music licensing business.

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