Modification of Consent Decrees: The BMI/ASCAP decree and effects on competition
2 PM EST
The DOJ is considering modifying the 70 year old consent decrees for publishing rights organizations (“PROs”) ASCAP and BMI. One issue is whether music publishers should be allowed to withdraw from the PROs the rights to license their repertory to a class of music user – called partial withdrawal. The proposed modification raises thorny questions: What should the competitive goals be for any modification? What competitive impact, if any, might partial withdrawal have on different classes of licensees, e.g., digital music services? To what extent would allowing partial withdrawal impact future interpretations of the Supreme Court’s decision in BMI v. CBS?
*Elinor R. Hoffmann, Office of the NYS Attorney General
*David A. Balto, Law Offices of David Balto
*Charles E. Biggio, Wilson Sonsini Goodrich Rosati
*Lisl J. Dunlop, Manatt
*Andrew Finch, Paul Weiss
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