Yesterday Billboard wrote that the Department of Justice was reportedly taking a position against a major source of gridlock in music licensing: so-called “fractional licensing.”
As readers of DisCo may recall, the Department of Justice has been investigating alleged anticompetitive activities by the nation’s performance rights organizations (PROs). Two of the major PROs, ASCAP and BMI, are already governed by long-standing consent decrees originating from previous antitrust cases. In the course of efforts to update those consent decrees, DOJ has reportedly said that it will look disfavorably on contractual terms that gridlock musical compositions.
This is a crucial development, because gridlock is one of the greatest impediments to more viable options for music delivery, and, one federal judge has already found, has been used anticompetitively in an effort to extract supra-competitive prices.MORE »