The American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers
Dear ASCAP member: Sonicology Publishing
In an important victory for songwriters, composers and music publishers, the Second Circuit Court of Appeals today affirmed what we have known all along, that the right of public performance allows for the fractional licensing of musical works, and the consent decrees do not prohibit that right.
As you know, ASCAP and BMI have been pursuing a joint strategy to challenge the Department of Justice’s (DOJ) position to mandate 100% licensing. In the legal challenge to the DOJ’s interpretation of the decrees, US District Judge Louis Stanton issued an order rejecting the DOJ’s mandate to require 100% licensing and noted that “nothing in the consent decree gives support to the division’s views.” The DOJ appealed that decision to the US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.
A panel of three judges of the Second Circuit has decided to uphold Judge Stanton’s decision, which means that ASCAP can continue to offer our hundreds of thousands of licensees a blanket license for all of the works in our repertory, including works for which our members have a fractional interest.
We are thrilled with this decision for another reason -- our members can rest easy that you can continue to co-write songs with whomever you choose, knowing that your share of co-written works will continue to be licensed by ASCAP and you will continue to receive your royalties from ASCAP -- your PRO of choice.
Even with this victory, our work to modernize music licensing for the digital age is not done. We will continue working closely with our allies in Congress and other music industry stakeholders toward our common goal of modernizing the rules that govern music licensing for today’s world. America’s music creators deserve fair treatment and an equal playing field under our nation’s music licensing laws.
Our best wishes to you for a happy and creative New Year!
Sincerely, Beth Matthews ASCAP CEO