Now that most of the DOJ lawyers who pushed the 100% licensing rule on songwriters are gone, who’s gonna deal with all those feral cats that former Acting Assistant Attorney General Renata Hesse was feeding? Last year, in what can only be described as an elaborate Kabuki, a small group of DOJ lawyers led by […]
The Obama Department of Justice filed notice on November 11 that it intended to use the peoples money to appeal BMI Rate Court Judge Louis Stanton’s devastating ruling against the DOJ’s bizarre position on “100% licensing”. Professor Steve Winogradsky and I summarized the results of the ruling in this post. Aside from the terrible legal […]
Editor Charlie sez: Remember that the U.S. Department of Justice Antitrust Division came up with a very Googley fairy tale about 100% licensing? Remember how the DOJ lost that case in the BMI Rate Court?
Now the U.S. government is appealing the case from the BMI Rate Court to the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals to try to stick it to songwriters even harder.
Obama like many political leaders has relied upon songwriters to shape his public persona and image. But Obama has also allowed his antitrust division to relentlessly persecute songwriters in ways that benefit Silicon Valley firms that are among his largest campaign donors.
Politicians, especially democratic politicians have always appealed to songwriters and performers for help campaigning and in shaping their images. But once the election is over we never see anything in return. Not even a “thank you.” But our long running abusive relationship with politicians seems to have hit a new low. It appears the Obama DOJ purposely waited until after all those celebrity/songwriter/performer campaign rallies were finished before they renewed their “100% licensing” legal crusade against songwriter non-profits BMI and ASCAP.
And I do mean “purposely waited.” Let me explain.
Right on cue, one Google Shill after another is floating the idea that the U.S. Department of Justice should appeal their latest oopsie to the Second Circuit.
Talk about ungrateful–Judge Stanton, the BMI Rate Court judge was also the judge in Viacom v. YouTube and the accompanying artist-oriented class action against Google. In the YouTube case, Judge Stanton ruled for YouTube.
Back then he was hailed by Google Shills everywhere as a great jurist, the peoples’ judge and hero of the disruptive class, because he poked a finger in the eye of bourgeois artists.
Talk about your sore losers–Judge Stanton went from #hero to #goat in record time as CCIA’s Matt Schruers told Bloomberg…
Another outstanding podcast from the Future of What with Kill Rock Stars! President Portia Sabin talking with David Lowery, Chris Castle and NMPA CEO David Israelite about the U.S. Justice Department’s flip flop on 100% licensing.
Find out what “100% licensing” means and what songwriters can do about it, plus a discussion of the implications for international songwriters and the future of reciprocal licensing by PROs outside the US.
Here’s a link to Chris Castle’s Huffington Post article mentioned in the podcast, The Obama Administration Is Lame Ducking An Unworkable Burden on Songwriters: 4 Reasons Why It’s Bad Law; the MusicTechPolicy timeline on the Obama Administration’s songwriter czar Renata Hesse (mentioned by David Israelite) showing her curious connections to Google and the MIC Coalition: How Google Took Over the Justice Department Antitrust Division: Renata Hesse’s Timeline; BMI’s Premotion Letter to Judge Stanton re Obama Justice Department Ruling on 100% Licensing; and Andrew Orlowski’s post on The Register that ties Google to the “100% licensing” decision Google had Obama’s ear during antitrust probe
Yep, the FTC is all over those Texas Car Dealers, but still no action on duped advertisers on YouTube. We just can’t imagine why that is.
Here’s what the always vigilant Obama FTC caught the car dealers doing down in Texas:
According to the FTC, New World Auto Imports Inc., New World Auto Imports of Rockwall Inc. and Hampton Two Auto Corporation concealed sale and lease terms that added significant costs or limited who could qualify for vehicles at advertised prices, in violation of a 2014 order.
In a TV ad, for example, the dealers offered two cars for “under $200 per month,” but in fine print that appeared for two seconds, disclosed that the offer applied only to leases, not sales, and required a $1,999 payment at lease signing. One dealer mailed ads claiming a new car could be purchased for $179 per month, but in print too small to read without magnification, disclosed that $1,999 would be due up front, along with tax, title and license fees, and that $8,271 would be due at the end of a 38-month financing term.
The FTC’s complaint also cited a TV ad targeted at people with major credit problems, such as repossessions or foreclosures. The ad touted vehicles for $250 per month, but in fine print disclosed that the offer was based on a 4.25 annual percentage rate that few, if any, consumers with such major credit issues could obtain. In addition, the FTC alleged that the dealers advertised credit and lease terms without clearly and conspicuously disclosing information required by federal law, and failed to keep records required by the 2014 order.
Just shocking, right? But it appears that duping advertisers on YouTube…like, oh, the President of the United States…is OK.
And then there’s Mazda’s ads that monetized videos of Anwar Al Awaki preaching whatever it is he preached.
Pales by comparison to the important work that the FTC is doing ferreting out those Texas car dealers.
We guess the FTC’s lawyers–the Google Justice Department–were too busy screwing songwriters on behalf of the MIC Coalition.