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Mechanical Licensing Collective hires three execs

The Mechanical Licensing Collective (MLC), the government-appointed and regulated agency for collecting and distributing blanket compulsory mechanical license for digital music services, has hired three new executives. The MLC was formed from the Music Modernaization Act of 2018. Last month the unit received a first stash of $424-million in royalty payments from Apple, Spotify, Google, Pandora, and 15 other streaming entites for distribution.  Continue Reading

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ASCAP and BMI jointly comment on DOJ review of consent decrees in a middle-road acceptance of no change

ASCAP sent us an open letter written jointly with BMI to Makan Delrahim, the Assistant Attorney General for the Antitrust Division of the United States Department of Justice. The subject is a recently concluded DoJ review of consent decrees, the government regulated law which compels ASCAP and BMI to license creative musical works at a set royalty structure. ASCAP and BMI don’t like being compelled. Congress doesn’t like choking a pipeline of content availability to distributors. The latest result is that the 80-year-old law will continue without change for now … and there was an unexpected twist in the proceedings. Continue Reading

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Local Radio Freedom Act resolution reaches majority support; musicFIRST replies

It’s not binding legislation. The Local Radio Freedom Act is a resolution bill which declares support among House Representatives in D.C. for opposing a performance royalty levied on American radio. As of this week, with the addition of 12 new signatures, the current House of  Representatives is not majority aligned against a royalty … which the NAB calls a “tax.” Advocacy group musicFIRST sent us an opposition statement. Continue Reading

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Michael Robertson: Is the Spotify Deal With Joe Rogan Illegal?

by Michael Robertson

This guest contribution by iconic digital audio entrepreneur Michael Robertson digs into the U.S. copyright code and finds a statute which might relate to, and potentially invalidate, Spotify’s exclusive distribution deal with Joe Rogan. Continue Reading

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Artist and consumer rights organizations petition Justice Department to block Liberty Media/iHeart deal

Liberty Media is a powerful force in music, with holdings in Sirius XM, Pandora, and Live Nation/Ticketmaster. After the Sirius XM and Pandora deal closed, the rumors turned next to Liberty having an interest in iHeartMedia. A group of consumer rights advocates and an artists’ rights organization have teamed up to send a letter to the Justice Department to oppose that possible acquisition. Continue Reading

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ASCAP delays April payments as coronavirus creates ripple effect through music industry finances

The coronavirus pandemic has already had an impact on music consumption and performance around the world. Performing rights organization ASCAP is the latest company to share changes as a result of the disease. President and Chairman Paul Williams told members in an email that the organization is postponing its scheduled April 6 payments to April 28. Continue Reading