@davidclowery: Electioneering Over, Songwriters No Longer Needed, Obama DOJ Gets Back to Suing Songwriters for Google

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.

Read the post on The Trichordist

 

Liberty Doesn’t Defend Itself: Complaint in SONA vs. Department of Justice — MUSIC • TECHNOLOGY • POLICY

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.

via Complaint in SONA vs. Department of Justice — MUSIC • TECHNOLOGY • POLICY

Download SONA’s legal filing here.

Gadi Oron: Dept. of Justice’s New Decision Could Wreak Havoc on International Rights: Op-Ed

The August 4th decision by the United States Department of Justice (DoJ) not to modernize the consent decrees that govern performing rights societies ASCAP and BMI, and its plans to force a “full-work” licensing model into the market, are the equivalent of an earthquake for the global music community, and most of all for songwriters. It opens a new era full of uncertainty for the music industry.

CISAC, which regroups 239 societies from 123 countries, including ASCAP, BMI, SESAC and AMRA in the United States, has been monitoring the evolution of the licensing ecosystem in the US with much concern. Because of the size of the US market and its influence in the world, any changes in the way our US members operate has consequences for sister societies, songwriters and music publishers worldwide.

We had high hopes that the DoJ would have taken these factors into account and come up with solutions to ensure a better, more efficient licensing system in the US in its two-year review of the ASCAP and BMI consent decrees. Yet for some reason the much-needed reform of the US licensing landscape took a wrong turn at the expense of creators, music publishers and their societies.

Read the post on Billboard

Guest Post by Stephen Carlisle: ASCAP and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad DOJ Decision That’s Going to Create Chaos in the Music Industry

Professor Stephen Carlisle gives us a point by point refutation of the DOJ’s astroturf position on 100% licensing.

via Guest Post by Stephen Carlisle: ASCAP and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad DOJ Decision That’s Going to Create Chaos in the Music Industry — MUSIC • TECHNOLOGY • POLICY

@stuartdredge: US PUBLISHING INDUSTRY IN UPROAR OVER DOJ LICENSING PLANS

The DoJ isn’t the only target for criticism: Google is also under attack, at a time of already-inflamed tension between the company and music rightsholders.

NMPA boss David Israelite recently made explicit reference to the DoJ’s “career lawyers who were never elected nor confirmed to their positions, led by a lawyer who previously represented Google”, while lawyer Chris Castle returned to a regular theme for his Music Technology Policy blog: the links between Google and the US administration and Barack Obama’s “miserable record on protecting the property rights of creators to Google’s benefit”.

Read the post on Music Ally

NMPA CEO @davidisraelite: DOJ Decision a Disastrous Blow to Songwriters

PRESS RELEASE  
For Immediate Release: August 4, 2016
Media Contact: Charlotte Sellmyer

Washington, D.C. – NMPA President & CEO David Israelite today released the following statement in response to the Department of Justice’s decision regarding the ASCAP and BMI consent decree review.

“The Department of Justice (DoJ) has dealt a massive blow to America’s songwriters. After a two year review of the consent decrees that govern ASCAP and BMI, career lawyers who were never elected nor confirmed to their positions, led by a lawyer who previously represented Google, determined that songwriters should have even fewer rights, less control over their intellectual property and be treated more unfairly than they already are. The Department ignored the voices of copyright experts, members of Congress and thousands of songwriters and delivered a huge gift to tech companies who already benefit from egregiously low rates.

“The interpretation that the consent decrees demand that all works must be licensed on a 100 percent basis is both unprecedented and disastrous to the songwriting community.  The decision represents a misunderstanding of copyright law and directly violates the legal guidance given by the Register of Copyright.  The defiance displayed by these career antitrust lawyers in ignoring the legal opinion of the Register of Copyright is shocking.

“Washington bureaucrats should not be in the business of regulating music as they are neither capable of understanding or fixing the problems they’ve created. We are hopeful that through the legal process, conversations with those in Congress who understand copyright law, and ultimately the voices of those most affected, the creators themselves, we can find a path forward.”

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About the NMPA: Founded in 1917, the National Music Publishers’ Association (NMPA) is the trade association representing all American music publishers and their songwriting partners. The NMPA’s mandate is to protect and advance the interests of music publishers and songwriters in matters relating to the domestic and global protection of music copyrights. Learn more at www.nmpa.org.