BMI Makes Early Royalty Distribution

BMI writers and publishers should have received this email:


@bmi: BMI Files Action in Federal Rate Court Against the Radio Music License Committee

[Editor Charlie sez: Here’s a press release from BMI about BMI’s rate court case against the Google-backed anti-artist behemoth MIC Coalition’s member Radio Music License Committee, the broadcaster licensing collective.  The RMLC collective is also suing Global Music Rights to stop songwriters from forming a licensing collective.]


Today, BMI filed an action in Federal Rate Court to set interim fees for radio stations represented by the Radio Music License Committee (the “RMLC”) while BMI and the RMLC negotiate the terms of a new five-year deal beginning in 2017.

The RMLC has proposed an interim rate well below BMI’s previous deal, the effect of which would have a significant impact on the royalties BMI pays to its songwriters, composers and music publishers. The RMLC has justified its proposed rate based upon incomplete and incorrect information regarding BMI’s radio performances. BMI disagrees fundamentally with the RMLC’s proposal and, consistent with past practices, is asking the Court to maintain its most recent rate while new terms are negotiated.

Mike Steinberg, Senior Vice President of Licensing for BMI, stated, “We attempted to negotiate in good faith with the RMLC for many months, and just before the end of the year, the RMLC presented an interim rate that significantly undervalues the work of BMI’s songwriters. Given the unmatched caliber of BMI’s repertoire, our superior market share on radio, and the ever-increasing value that BMI music brings to the radio industry across all its platforms, we believe the RMLC’s proposal falls well short of what is in the best interests of our affiliates.”

Funny How that Works: @edchristman reports: Irving Azoff, Top Radio Groups Reach Temporary Licensing Agreement — MUSIC • TECHNOLOGY • POLICY

When two rational actors are economically interdependent on one another, disputes tend to get solved at a market clearing price. So it is with Global Music Rights and the goliath Radio Music License Committee that itself is a member of the even bigger goliath MIC Coalition. (My bet is that the Google-backed MIC Coalition is behind […]

via Funny How that Works: @edchristman reports: Irving Azoff, Top Radio Groups Reach Temporary Licensing Agreement — MUSIC • TECHNOLOGY • POLICY


Dear BMI Member,

It’s been just over a week since the DOJ shared its interpretation of BMI and ASCAP’s consent decrees, and I wanted to take a moment to update you on what’s been happening.

As you know, during our meeting on June 29, we learned that the DOJ would not take the opportunity to modernize BMI’s outdated consent decree.  Instead, it determined that BMI and ASCAP must follow a 100% licensing model, a practice that has never been the industry standard and one that BMI and ASCAP never raised for discussion.

Since then, the DOJ began a series of meetings with key industry participants to share this news with them directly.  Understandably, there is a lot of confusion about what this means and a lot of conversations taking place within the industry about what will happen.

First and foremost, let me stress that the DOJ’s position is simply that – its position.  It’s not a ruling or a decision.  It is how the DOJ interprets BMI’s consent decree. And as you know, BMI disagrees strongly with that interpretation.

While we hope to reach a mutually agreeable resolution with the DOJ, we have a number of scenarios in front of us that we are evaluating carefully.  We believe the DOJ’s interpretation benefits no one – not BMI or ASCAP, not the music publishers, and not the music users – but we are most sensitive to the impact this could have on you, our songwriters and composers.  The decisions we make will always consider what is in your best interest.

To that end, we are working closely with ASCAP as we evaluate our options.  Both BMI and ASCAP believe this situation transcends the normal healthy competition between our organizations.  We are united in our determination to protect the rights of our songwriters and composers, as well as your creative freedom and financial interests.

We have heard from many of you with questions about what this all means.  A Q&A can be found here to help answer some of the questions that have come up.

As we have in the past, BMI may call on you to help us in this fight.  We hope you will be available.

I will continue to keep you updated as news develops.

Mike O’Neill
President & CEO

@MONBMI: BMI CEO’s Message on DOJ Overreach


Dear BMI Member,

You may have seen the news today about the Department of Justice’s (DOJ) proposal regarding BMI and ASCAP’s respective consent decrees.  After almost three years of deliberation, the DOJ is recommending no changes to the current decrees.  It has instead determined that BMI and ASCAP must follow a 100% licensing model, a practice that has never been the industry standard and presents multiple challenges to the industry and our songwriting and composing community.

Please know that while we will continue to make every effort to reach a mutually-agreeable solution with the DOJ, their proposal is not the final say in this matter. Our core mission to protect the value of your music and creative freedom will be top of mind as we carefully evaluate our options.

As you can imagine, we are disappointed with the DOJ’s recommendation, but while we continue to work though these issues, nothing will change in terms of your BMI affiliation. You remain a member of the BMI family and you will continue to receive your distributions as you always have.

We also understand that you will likely have many questions.  We will make every effort to provide answers and updates in order to assuage any concerns you may have.  We encourage you to check back with us for new information as it becomes available.

BMI has been protecting the value of your creative work for 76 years and we have no intention of stopping that any time soon.

Mike O’Neill
President & CEO