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 […]
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.
Google seems to know it has a problem here in Tennessee. That’s why it’s out in the community sponsoring musicians’ workshops, funding “digital inclusion fellowships,” and making big promises about wiring the city with low cost internet – even as local pastors question whether all of our citizens including those in minority communities will get access. And unions question the company’s push for shortcuts and special rules for its projects that will cost us local jobs.
But for music creators, this is all a sideshow, a corporate feel good effort designed to yank our gaze away from the basic facts – Google is putting all its power and might into killing legal reforms artists and songwriters need to survive.
But we still have a voice.
We must continue to urge Congress to reform the DMCA so the next generation of songwriters, artists, and performers can thrive. We must continue to look skeptically at Google’s effort to paper over issues and distract our institutions and communities from its unfair exploitation of our work.
And we must pursue all avenues and remedies in Congress and the courts – like the landmark win on songwriter royalties that rejected the Google-friendly DOJ’s bogus ruling on “fractional” licensing of our work.
Read the post in The Tennesseean
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…
More to come, but here is a copy of the complaint in the Songwriters of North America, Michelle Lewis, Thomas Kelly and Pamela Sheyne case against the Department of Justice, Attorney General Loretta Lynch and former Google lawyer Renata Hesse asking for declaratory relief on the DOJ’s violation of songwriter Constitutional rights with 100% licensing.
The recent ruling by the U.S. Department of Justice in the ASCAP and BMI consent decrees sent everyone scratching their heads as to what do we do now? The authors provide a helpful chart for songwriters, motion picture and television producers and other music users to see how bad it really is.