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Public comment closes on Justice Department’s consent decree review, revealing more industry division

The Department of Justice has closed the open comment period for its review of the consent decrees governing ASCAP and BMI. Both of the performing rights organizations have submitted their views on the subject, as have other groups from the music and audio industry. Even though the topic was recently addressed by the DOJ, the sector still has deeply divided interests in how these rules may or may not change. Continue Reading

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Massachusetts rep introduces bill aimed at tightening privacy protections for smart speaker owners

After all three of the main developers of voice assistant platforms have faced privacy breaches, either through whistleblowers or through human or mechanical errors, a member of Congress is moving to address the risks to consumers. Rep. Seth Moulton (D-Mass.) has introduced a new act that would give people recourse for when smart speakers and smart doorbells collect data in violation of their terms of agreements. Continue Reading

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NMPA and partners win bid for Music Licensing Collective under the Music Modernization Act

The U.S. Copyright Office has made an important step forward in enacting the provisions passed by the Music Modernization Act last fall. The office selected the group led by the National Music Publishers Association to manage the creation and operation of the Mechanical Licensing Collective. Continue Reading

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Spotify says it overpaid publishers in 2018 and wants to recoup funds

Spotify’s interactions with publishers and songwriters have gotten even more complicated, with the streaming service claiming that it overpaid on mechanical royalties in 2018. The Copyright Royalty Board issued its mechanical royalty payment rates in December 2018 after the music platform had already paid out almost a full year under a different rate scheme. Continue Reading

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Department of Justice begins review of consent decrees; ASCAP and BMI respond

The U.S. Department of Justice has officially opened a new review of the consent decrees governing ASCAP and BMI. Both performance rights organizations have operated their copyright management systems under these rules for more than 75 years. The review will examine whether the decrees should continue in their current state, receive modifications, or be ended entirely. Continue Reading