Thursday, November 19, 2015


436 MEDIA Inc. Blog

This blog is to inform the growing number new entertainment media publishers of the current developments involving publishers and rulings on Capitol Hill. It appears that the consent decrees of BMI and ASCAP are being reviewed by the U.S. Dept. of Justice.

In an article published in Billboard Biz by ED Christman June 04, 2014, it has been announced that the antitrust division of the U.S.Dept. Of Justice is reviewing the usefulness of the consent decrees written by BMI and ASCAP during their pre-digital years. This review is expected to take some time but, the changes will affect songwriters, composers, publishers, licensees and digital service providers.

It has been reported that the major publishers and the two PROs have been in separate litigation regarding what performance rates digital providers should pay. The large publishers withdrew from digital rights prior to the rulings. It was reported that the judges decided that the publishers have to remain 1000% with the PROs or get out of the PROs altogether. (ED Christman 2014)

In other words the publishers have to except digital rights or not except digital rights and allow companies like Sound Exchange to provide the digital rights collection model. However, the issue revolves around if it is possible for the large corporate publishers to withdraw partially from digital rights and remain in business with the current consent decrees. Industry sources warn that the consent decrees were written long before the digital era started. Also, it must be noted that the development of the modern digital delivery platform has truly outpaced the old decrees.

To summarize, todays digital delivery methods are putting pressure on the old ways of publishing. The major publishers will have to adjust to the needs of the digital age. The large publishers must support BMI, ASCAP and Sound Exchange to bring about changes to the consent decrees. The National Publishers Assn., will have to take on a supporting role in helping the merger of digital rights and performance rights.

In conclusion, the changes in the entertainment publishing industry have been brought about by the advances of the digital rights movement. Being an active independent publisher I have much respect for the digital rights initiative and look forward to the changes to come.

436 MEDIA Inc.

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