Thursday, October 4, 2018
DOJ Considers How To Best Implement New Music Royalty Rules
Reuters reports the Justice Department, as part of a larger review, is reviewing two consent decrees from the 1940s that determine what digital streaming services, radio and television stations, bars and others pay Broadcast Music Inc, or BMI, and American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers, or ASCAP, to play music.
At a Senate sub-committee hearing, Senator Orrin Hatch pressed Makan Delrahim, head of the Justice Department’s antitrust division, to move cautiously if there was a decision to scrap the consent decrees, saying that abruptly cancelling them would be “a mistake.”
Delrahim, in response, said he recognized the potential problem. “We recognize the disruption and cost of just terminating without a proper transition period,” Delrahim told the antitrust panel of the Senate Judiciary Committee.
Currently, a rate court in New York sets the royalties that ASCAP and BMI, which represent artists and music publishers, are paid. Companies that license music have worried about a sharp increase in costs if the system is changed because ASCAP and BMI license about 90 percent of music heard online and in movies, TV shows and bars.
Delrahim said at an event last week, “Absolutely (I) think that the marketplace should determine how much an artist gets paid.”
Posted 3:32:00 AM