Press Release Music Licensing

Public Knowledge Responds to Department of Justice Consent Decree Review

June 5, 2019 , , ,

Today, the Department of Justice’s Antitrust Division announced that it opened a review of its consent decrees with The American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) and Broadcast Music, Inc. (BMI) — the two most powerful organizations licensing music as well as the rights to publicly perform musical works. The Antitrust Division stated that the purpose of the review is to determine if the consent decrees, which govern how ASCAP and BMI operate, should be “maintained, modified, or terminated.”

The following can be attributed to Meredith Rose, Policy Counsel at Public Knowledge:

“The decision to reopen an examination into the consent decrees that underpin the modern music marketplace is inexplicable in its timing or reason. We are less than five years out from the last consent decree review. We are less than one year out from the passage of the Music Modernization Act, which was founded on the presumption that the consent decrees would continue to exist in their current form. Even Congress has explicitly asked that the consent decrees not be reconsidered until a new system can be put in place. We urge the DoJ to listen to the concerns of stakeholders and refrain from sweeping changes to the current model.”