CCIA Files Comments on ASCAP, BMI Consent Decrees

BY Heather Greenfield
August 6, 2014

Washington – As the Department of Justice Antitrust Division reviews the consent decrees governing music licensing, the Computer & Communications Industry Association (CCIA) filed comments Wednesday. CCIA asked DOJ to uphold, update and expand the consent decrees covering the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) and Broadcast Music, Inc. (BMI).

CCIA weighed in on issues from non-discrimination principles to whether ASCAP or BMI should be able to license their performance rights to some music users but not others, to how to modernize the consent decrees in the digital age. CCIA’s comments focus principally on the need for the Department of Justice to compel performance rights organizations (PROs) to provide timely, online access to information regarding the contents of their repertories.  “A buyer should know what is being bought,” the comments said.

CCIA acknowledged that although PROs can help reduce licensing transaction costs, the fact that ASCAP and BMI control 90 percent of American compositions means it’s important to address competition issues. CCIA noted that PROs may have certain non-discrimination obligations, but that these “are not sufficiently robust to impose meaningful obligations, including non-discrimination among different types of users who are engaged in similar uses.”

Related Articles

CCIA To Testify At Senate Hearing Tuesday On Copyright Enforcement In Other Countries

Mar 10, 2020

Washington — The Senate Judiciary Intellectual Property Subcommittee will hear from witnesses Tuesday about how other countries handle online copyright infringement and liability for what users post online. Europe has enacted copyright regulations recently that are out of sync with balanced copyright measures followed by the U.S. like the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, and the…

CCIA Submits Comments, Testified Before USTR On Fair Use In South Africa

Feb 28, 2020

Washington — Today the Computer & Communications Industry Association submitted a post-hearing brief to the U.S. Trade Representative for its review of South Africa’s copyright law. Last month, CCIA’s Ali Sternburg testified before USTR expressing support for South Africa’s proposed fair use exception. A CCIA study demonstrated that fair use industries account for 16% of…

CCIA To Testify At USTR’s Special 301 Hearing

Feb 26, 2020

Washington — Computer & Communications Industry Association policy counsel Rachael Stelly will testify at a USTR hearing today on what should be included in its annual Special 301 report identifying foreign countries’ IP policies that present market access barriers to U.S. industries. CCIA filed comments with USTR earlier this month, citing barriers such as Europe’s…