In case you didn’t notice, the Trump Department of Justice is appealing the Obama Department of Justice loss in the 100% licensing ruling by Judge Stanton in the BMI Rate Court. Judge Stanton struck down the DOJ’s unfair and unlawful attack on songwriters.
This podcast by Portia Sabin on the Future of What was recorded before the appeal, but tells you all you need to know about what is at issue in the bizarre Department of Justice appeal. Except for the fact that after the podcast was recorded, Songwriters of North America sued the Department of Justice and ex-Googler Renata Hesse (the prime mover behind the Kafka-esque theory). For what? Unlawful behavior and unconstitutional taking of property without fair compensation.
The podcast was also recorded before Texas Governor Greg Abbott called on the then-Attorney General to reconsider the DOJ’s position and summed it up nicely:
“[D]espite 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.
Another outstanding podcast from the Future of What with Kill Rock Stars! President Portia Sabin talking with David Lowery, Chris Castle and NMPA CEO David Israelite about the U.S. Justice Department’s flip flop on 100% licensing.
Find out what “100% licensing” means and what songwriters can do about it, plus a discussion of the implications for international songwriters and the future of reciprocal licensing by PROs outside the US.
Here’s a link to Chris Castle’s Huffington Post article mentioned in the podcast, The Obama Administration Is Lame Ducking An Unworkable Burden on Songwriters: 4 Reasons Why It’s Bad Law; the MusicTechPolicy timeline on the Obama Administration’s songwriter czar Renata Hesse (mentioned by David Israelite) showing her curious connections to Google and the MIC Coalition: How Google Took Over the Justice Department Antitrust Division: Renata Hesse’s Timeline; BMI’s Premotion Letter to Judge Stanton re Obama Justice Department Ruling on 100%…
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