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Federal Judge Slams DOJ Consent Decree on Fractional Licensing

September 19, 2016

Federal Judge Slams DOJ Consent Decree on Fractional Licensing

WASHINGTON— On Friday, United States District Court Judge Louis L. Stanton issued an Opinion and Declaratory Judgement for United States v, Broadcast Music, Inc., which was in response to the Department of Justice (DOJ) announcement last month regarding the consent decrees governing the country’s two largest Performing Rights Organizations (PROs), ASCAP and BMI. As the Vice-Chairman of the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Courts, Intellectual Property, and the Internet and an outspoken advocate of American songwriters, Congressman Collins (R- Ga.) issued the following statement on the decision:

“I applaud Judge Stanton for his understanding of the consent decree governing BMI and the power that it has over the music industry, particularly songwriters. His declaratory judgement rejects DOJ’s misguided and overreaching interpretation of the consent decrees. Since DOJ first announced their misguided interpretation, I have vocally opposed it and called into question perceived conflicts of interest. DOJ’s interpretation undermined copyright law, industry practice, and private property rights, and instead substituted its judgement for that of various experts across the country and the government. Judge Stanton’s decision is a major win for songwriters, but we can’t stop fighting on behalf of these hardworking men and women.

"That’s why, in addition to continuing to monitor the DOJ consent decree announcement, I will also continue to push for passage of the Songwriter Equity Act, legislation I introduced to create a level playing field for songwriters so that they can compete in the fair market.”

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