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Department of Justice confirms its consent decree ruling: No changes

us dept justice canvasIt’s official. The Department of Justice has released the final ruling for its review of performing rights organization consent decrees, which includes “full-works licensing” and prohibits withdrawal of digital rights from bundled licenses. The department issued a statement today with more detail about how it arrived at the decision, although the rationale may not mollify ASCAP or BMI.

The PROs had lobbied against the full-works licensing, which means that on songs that have multiple authors or PROs, any individual party has the right to license the entire work rather than just their share. They also sought to take digital rights negotiations out of the bundled discussions in order to push for higher rates from online streaming services. Since the DoJ announcement, both organizations have announced plans to respond. BMI will take legal action to challenge the decision in federal court. A pre-motion letter to Federal Judge Louis Stanton outlines the reliefs sought. On the other hand, ASCAP will push for other legislative reforms to make fractional licensing an available option.

The initial DoJ decision was first announced in June.

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Anna Washenko

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