Statement of IMPF Board of Directors on the U.S. DoJ’s 100% licensing scheme
How is it possible that the U.S. Department of Justice made a decision to not only leave the outdated consent decrees as they are, despite all the meetings, entreaties and ideas of the last two years, but added to its’ interpretation of those decrees in a clearly punitive and devastating move for small and indie music publishers and their songwriters?
In what was described by IMPF, the independent music publishers forum, as ‘an unmitigated disaster’, the decision only looks at the 100% licensing concept, which goes against common practise in the music industry, forcing, as it will, the CMOs to adopt ‘100% licensing’ despite the fact that the CMO may not actually represent all the owners of the musical work.
“This decision will result in confusion and chaos for everyone, from music publishers, to collective rights managements organisations around the world, and licensees and sadly and ultimately for songwriters, who will suffer the most, as this new system will lead to unfair prices that do not reflect the real value of their musical works” said Pierre Mossiat, President of the IMPF Board of Directors. “In short nothing has been fixed but everything has been further broken” he added.
IMPF also noted that the decision has implications for the way the U.S. does business abroad as it ignores international trade protocols, and may in fact be unlawful under WTO rules, as, applying this rule to copyrights originating in countries other than the U.S., when the rule is not recognised in those other countries, has profound ramifications.
IMPF will lend full support to ASCAP and BMI in the U.S. and to local and international music publishers as they figure out ways to address their options in a situation that was entirely avoidable, and until now has ever been an issue.
IMPF serves as a network and meeting place for independent music publishers. Its main objectives are to share experiences and best practices in music publishing; exchange information on the legal framework and music publishing environment; coordinate actions and support projects relevant to composers and music publishers; represent the interests of the independent music publishing community; and stimulate a favourable environment for artistic, cultural, linguistic and commercial diversitywww.impforum.org