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A Guide to the Department of Justice Ruling on “100% Licensing”

May 23, 2017

To better understand the recent DOJ appeal of 100% licensing from the BMI rate court, we offer a repost of this article.  The Department of Justice–once again doing its best to crush small business–has appealed the BMI ruling (copy of DOJ appeal here).  Note that Brent Snyder, the DOJ lawyer who lead the brief, is a former partner at Google lawyers Perkins Coie in Seattle–yet another DOJ lawyer with ties to Google.

MUSIC • TECHNOLOGY • POLICY

By Steve Winogradsky and Chris Castle, all rights reserved.

The recent ruling by the U.S. Department of Justice in United States v. Broadcast Music, Inc. and United States v. American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers has left many songwriters, publishers, motion picture and television producers and, yes, even lawyers scratching their heads to understand the import of the ruling.  Not to mention Texas Governor Greg Abbott who has written to Attorney General Loretta Lynch asking her to reconsider the DOJ ruling.

The authors have summarized the ruling in the chart that follows.  The thing speaks for itself.

As you will see, the left hand column lists the various roles of a music creator (starting with “Songwriter”) or music user.  The rows describe some of the potential combinations of co-writers who will run afoul of the DOJ’s ruling.  The chart is followed by a list of descriptions of what…

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