@marcps: Texas Governor Greg Abbott to Attorney General Loretta Lynch: Don’t Mess With Song Licensing

Governor Greg Abbott of Texas has submitted a letter of opposition to the Dept. of Justice regarding its recent decision to change how performance rights organizations (PROs) are required to treat the licensing of some songs with multiple authors.

The controversial change, part of a two-year review of the consent decrees established in the early 1940s to govern the PROs (namely ASCAP and BMI), now requires those PROs to allow “100 percent licensing,” which would give the partial owner of a song the ability to license the entire work to a user such as a streaming service, as long as they account for and pay the other songwriters.

In a letter dated Aug. 29 and addressed to Attorney General Loretta Lynch, Abbott says that he feels compelled to weigh in on the controversy due to his position as head of the Texas Music Office. “The Texas Music Office is housed within my office and is charged by law with promoting the Texas music industry. As the head of that office, I must object to the DOJ’s position in these cases, which is both legally flawed and threatens to harm the music industry in Texas.”

Read the post on Billboard

@musicrow: Texas Governor Objects To DOJ Ruling On Fractionalized Licensing

Texas Governor Greg Abbott has formally asked the Department of Justice to reconsider its recent decision regarding consent decrees and fractional licensing.

In a letter to Attorney General Loretta Lynch dated Aug. 29, Gov. Abbott wrote to express his disagreement.

He wrote, in part, “The Texas Music Office is housed within my office and is charged by law with promoting the Texas music industry. As the head of that office, I must object to the DOJ’s position in these cases, which is both legally flawed and threatens to harm the music industry in Texas. I respectfully request that the DOJ reconsider its position.”

Read the post on Music Row

hypebot: Texas Governor Greg Abbott Urges U.S. DOJ To Reconsider Changes To PRO Licensing Model

With so many unhappy with the Department of Justice‘s recent alteration to the Performing Rights Organization licensing model, Texas Governor Greg Abbott recently sent a letter to Attorney General Lynch urging reconsideration of the decision.

Read the post on Hypebot

@govabbott: Texas Governor Greg Abbott Urges U.S. Department Of Justice To Reconsider Changes To PRO Licensing Mode

G O V E R N O R  G R E G  A B B O T T
August 29, 2016

The Honorable Loretta E. Lynch

Attorney General
U.S. Department of Justice
950 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW Washington, D.C. 20530-0001

Dear Attorney General Lynch:

I write to express my disagreement with the U.S. Department of Justice’s (DOJ) recent decision regarding the consent decrees in United States v. Broadcast Music, Inc. 1 and United States v. American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers. 2 The Texas Music Office is housed within my office and is charged by law with promoting the Texas music industry. As the head of that office, I must object to the DOJ’s position in these cases, which is both legally flawed and threatens to harm the music industry in Texas. I respectfully request that the DOJ reconsider its position.

The DOJ ultimately concluded that the consent decrees require Broadcast Music, Inc. (BMI) and the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) to offer only full-work licenses to their respective music repertoires, including those songs in which BMI or ASCAP only represent a fraction of the ownership rights. However, despite claims to the contrary, BMI and ASCAP have never offered full-work licenses to fractionally owned songs, and the consent decrees have never been interpreted by the DOJ to require that until now. This drastic change in course will have severe consequences for music artists and the music industry as a whole. Specifically, the DOJ’s conclusion will inhibit collaboration between music artists, upend longstanding practices within the music industry and further reduce royalty payments to music artists.3

The DOJ claims that the plain language of the consent decrees does not permit it to reach any other conclusion. That is incorrect.