US Justice Department to Review Performance Rights Licensing

The New York Times reported that the Justice Department will begin to review the nearly 75-year-old regulations that govern the licensing practices of ASCAP & BMI. These performing rights organizations claim “their ability to collect fair rates for their music in the digital age is undermined by the government’s regulatory agreements, known as consent decrees….According to the consent decrees, which were instituted in 1941 after federal antitrust investigations, ASCAP and BMI cannot refuse licenses to music outlets that request them, and their agreements are subject to approval by two federal judges.”