Alexander: Federal Court Decision is an “Important, Common-Sense Victory” for Songwriters

Posted on September 17, 2016

NASHVILLE, Tenn., Sept. 17, 2016 - U. S. Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) today made the following statement after the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York ruled against the Dept. of Justice's (DOJ) interpretation that the Broadcast Music, Inc. (BMI) consent decree requires full-licensing instead of fractional licensing:

"The court's decision is an important and common-sense victory for songwriters. There is more work to be done. Songwriters are the lifeblood of Music City, and their paychecks ought to be based on the fair market value of their songs – so that when they write a hit heard around the world, you can see it in their billfolds.

"Last March, Senator Corker and I introduced the Songwriter Equity Act, which would allow songwriters to receive compensation based on the fair market value of their songs.  I will also continue working on legislation to address the Department of Justice’s decision regarding the consent decrees that is creating such confusion among performance rights organizations and songwriters.”

On August 4, BMI filed a motion in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York challenging DOJ's findings. Yesterday, U.S. District Court Judge Louis Stanton ruled against DOJ’s findings, claiming in a declaratory judgment:  The Consent Decree neither bars fractional licensing nor requires full work licensing.  

The American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) is subject to a separate consent decree under a different federal court.


For access to this release and the senator’s other statements, click here.

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