DOJ to review ‘competitive concerns’ with music-fee licensing system

The government’s agreements with performing rights organizations ASCAP and BMI have not been modified since at least 2001

Could major changes be coming to music licensing rights fees, affecting companies from Warner Music Group to Pandora to Apple? It sure seems that way, based on a recent flurry of activity coming out of Washington, D.C. First, Congress introduced a new bill intended to change music copyright law, and now, the Department of Justice (DOJ) has jumped into the fray, beginning to review the decades-old music fee system.

On June 4, the DOJ’s Antitrust Division announced a review of the fee to “address competitive concerns” with the rise in new technology. Thanks to streaming music services such as Pandora, Spotify and others, music artists are seeing income from a variety of new sources, not just (declining) record sales.

Assistant Editor

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Zach Warren

Zach Warren is Assistant Editor of InsideCounsel magazine, where he oversees online content submissions and administers InsideCounsel's enewsletters. Zach specializes in new media and multimedia...

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