Justice Department Requests Documents from PROs & Major Publishers

The US Department of Justice sent CIDs (Civil Investigative Demand for Documents) to a group of PROs (Performance Rights Organizations) and major music publishers. It is speculated by the recipients that this request is in connection with the examination of the consent decrees but the investigation will also include the possibility of collusion between major publishers and the PROs during the rate trial with Pandora. The judge from that trial determined “In her rate-setting decision, Judge Denise Cote, the ASCAP rate court judge, wrote on page 95 of her decision that Pandora has shown the Sony and UMPG licenses (which were direct deals, cut after the publishers withdrew digital rights) to be the product of, at the very least, coordination between and among these major music publishers and ASCAP.”

Many moving pieces here, this article in Billboard helps to lay out the detail.