Breaking: ASCAP, BMI, Pandora To Testify Before The Senate

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On March 10th at 10AM EST, the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Antitrust, Competition Policy and Consumer Rights will hear testimonies regarding the Department of Justice Consent Decrees for ASCAP and BMI. The Consent Decrees, originally entered in 1941, were created to to address competitive concerns arising from the market power each organization acquired through the aggregation of public performance rights held by their member songwriters and music publishers. They have been amended periodically throughout the years and were last updated in 1994 for BMI and 2001 for ASCAP.

+Congress Wants To Hear Your Songs And Stories To Help Fix The Copyright Law

Witnesses include:

Mr. Mike Dowdle
Vice President Of Business Affairs And General Counsel
Bonneville International

Ms. Jodie Griffin
Senior Staff Attorney
Public Knowledge

Mr. Chris Harrison
Vice President Of Business Affairs
Pandora Media, Inc.

Ms. Beth Matthews
CEO
American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP)

Mr. Lee Thomas Miller
Broadcast Music, Inc. (BMI) Songwriter Affiliate
President, Nashville Songwriters Association International

Mr. Matt Pincus
Founder And CEO
SONGS Music Publishing

You can live stream the hearing here.

A full review of testimonies to follow…

Ari Herstand is a Los Angeles based singer/songwriter and the creator of the music biz advice blog, Ari’s Take. Follow him on Twitter: @aristake

12 Responses

  1. Remi Swierczek

    Government decree they are asking for is equivalent of communist 5 year plan, or tax on almost dead, in the middle of suicide, music industry.

    They need to ask for new FAIR USE ACT to create normal and healthily environment.

    Once the music is merchandise again and Radio and streaming converted to music store delivers $100B music industry they can fight how to divide the jackpot.

    Waiting for decree or Apple/dead/Beats team to deliver the goods is just continuation of suicide!

    Reply
    • Remi Swierczek

      By the way, nice list of folks! I will make an effort to send conventional letter in formal envelope to each one of them. Possibly one of them has the power to force UMG from driving to the cliff.

      Reply
      • 100 Billion Dollar Man

        Make sure you let them know about the $100B. H&R Block really should have you doing their commercials.

        Reply
  2. Me2

    Remi, what do you propose as ‘fair use act’? I think it’s important to distinguish between the fair use infringement defense, which clearly does not apply to commercial radio and streaming, vs PRO consent decree, rate setting and compulsory license. I see the latter as hobbling innovation, harmful to free market and specifically songwriters who will be hurt the most. The right to say NO is essential to free market and property rights in any democracy.

    Reply
    • Remi Swierczek

      It should apply to entity like Shazam or Google Voice Search. They intensively collect someone’s property, store it in their servers and then at the request of the stranger they process that property and give free VOUCHER for that property. It is not fair. Nature of digital music makes you an owner when you know the name of the tune and artist. My estimate calls for just one purchase at iTunes for every 40 Shazam tags.

      Criminalizing music and lyric ID current mode would make them the best paid cashiers of Radio, streaming or elevator converted to music store.

      Finally music would become merchandise AGAIN!

      Reply
  3. FarePlay

    Unlike, the congressional subcommittee hearings on copyright, this group seemed woefully unprepared lacking the necessary due diligence to ensure a positive outcome. When they differed to Ms Giffen of the google funded Public Knowledge for “advice” it was evident things were going badly for the songwriters and their representatives.

    The irony of labeling ASCAP untrustworthy, coming from Chris Harrison of Pandora was palpable.

    As a side note. Given the recent “revelations” coming from the industry about the unworkability of streaming payouts, Ms Matthews comments about artists abandoning ASCAP and BMI to pursue independent deals may not be so far off the mark.

    Reply
    • PlayFair

      The irony of labeling ASCAP untrustworthy, coming from Chris Harrison of Pandora was palpable.

      The irony of you even commenting on the topic is vomit-inducing.

      The judge in the most recent ASCAP rate trial found that “the evidence revealed troubling coordination between SONY, UMPG and ASCAP which implicates the core anti-trust concerns” of the Consent Decree.

      As a result of ASCAP’s actions there, the DoJ has opened yet ANOTHER investigation of ASCAP.

      And we have nothing negative about Pandora’s behavior from either the judge OR the DoJ.

      Reply
      • Fareplay

        How seriously can we take you if you fail to use your name? As far as Pandora goes, more will be revealed, so get your bed pan ready.

        Reply

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