Lee Reacts to DOJ Review of ASCAP, BMI

The Department of Justice announced that it has closed its review of the ASCAP and BMI consent decrees without seeking any modifications at this time. 

The consent decrees have governed the licensing of performance rights for musical compositions since they were established in 1941. In 2014, ASCAP and BMI, the performance rights organizations that administer the issuance of licenses and the collection of royalties, requested that DOJ amend the consent decrees to allow individual publishers to withdraw their rights for digital performances, giving them greater negotiating power with internet music companies like Pandora. Senator Mike Lee (R-UT), chairman of the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Antitrust, Competition and Consumer Protection released the following statement:

“The Department of Justice has been examining whether to amend the consent decrees that govern the licensing of music performance rights for over a year and a half,” said Lee. “The complicated nature of the consent decrees and of the market for musical licenses requires such an exhaustive review, and I appreciate the agency’s thoroughness. As we emphasized in the Subcommittee’s hearing on these issues in March of last year, any government oversight of this market must encourage creativity by recognizing the value of copyrights and ensure that prices for music remain competitive for consumers.”

For more information on these issues and the views of stakeholders, please watch the Subcommittee’s hearing from March 10, 2015, entitled, “How Much For a Song?: The Antitrust Decrees that Govern the Market for Music.”