LA Times opinion concludes that Obama Justice Department ruling makes life more difficult for songwriters and is bad for competition:
By requiring full licensing by ASCAP and BMI, the department may ultimately clear the way for publishers to partially withdraw and negotiate separately with online services — provided they can satisfy their songwriters’ concerns about accounting and payment. In the meantime, though, the department’s latest interpretation of the consent decree will hinder songwriters’ legitimate efforts to get the most royalties they can for their works. Ideally, more performance rights organizations would emerge to represent songwriters and compete with one another, reducing the need for court oversight of ASCAP and BMI. But the mandate for full licensing by ASCAP and BMI will only deter songwriters and publishers from affiliating themselves with anyone else.