Who can forget the nightmare of the Justice Department’s counterproductive flirtation with 100% licensing the last time the DOJ reviewed the consent decrees. (We covered the 100% licensing head fake in a podcast and a guide to 100% licensing.) Since then, the Congress passed the Music Modernization Act, which includes a massive overhaul of the mechanical […]
Great news today that the appeals court upheld BMI’s ruling by the BMI rate court judge that there is no such thing as 100% licensing under the consent decrees. Although it’s like winning an appeal that the Sun really does rise in the East, it’s good to put that issue to one side and to poke a stick in Google’s eye.
[Editor Charlie sez: This is a repost of the original from September 2016 in light of the recent appeal by the Department of Justice.] 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 […]
It is axiomatic that as government expands, liberty contracts. Songwriters are among the most highly regulated workers in America, so on the continuum of liberty, guess where songwriters score? Most people are surprised by that unadulterated, and rather bleak, fact. After all, songwriters don’t make anything toxic or build in places they shouldn’t or dump chemicals in a waterway. Songwriters don’t have monopoly power. Songwriters don’t even get to set their own prices—the government largely does that in a very expensive and Kafka-esque process.
Someone must have been telling lies about Josef K., he knew he had done nothing wrong but, one morning, he was arrested….”And why am I under arrest?” he then asked. “That’s something we’re not allowed to tell you. Go into your room and wait there. Proceedings are underway and you’ll learn about everything all in […]
For the moment, songwriters are in a holding pattern but with the wind at their backs. I’m still looking forward to an explanation of why Google, Pandora, Clear Channel and a host of other giant multinational corporations with hundreds if not thousands of lobbyists need the awesome power of the U.S. Government to protect them from…songwriters. […]
DOJ’s Renata Hesse loses big time on 100% licensing.
More to come, but here is a copy of the complaint in the Songwriters of North America, Michelle Lewis, Thomas Kelly and Pamela Sheyne case against the Department of Justice, Attorney General Loretta Lynch and former Google lawyer Renata Hesse asking for declaratory relief on the DOJ’s violation of songwriter Constitutional rights with 100% licensing […]
On Tuesday, [Michelle Lewis, Kay Hanley] and Songwriters of North America, an advocacy group she helped found a year ago, sued the Justice Department, saying that the agency overstepped its authority and that its ruling violated the property rights of songwriters by potentially nullifying private contracts between writers who have worked on the same song. […]
In an explosive conversation, Michelle Lewis and Kay Hanley talk with David Lowery and Chris Castle about Songwriters of North America, their experiences with lawyers from the Department of Justice Antitrust Division in the lead-up to the DOJ’s decision on “100% licensing,” and disingenuous behavior by the government’s lawyers that crossed the line into “union busting.”