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ASCAP / BMI database plans are already sparking a row


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ASCAP and BMI are fielding criticism for not including other US performing rights organisations (PROs) in their partnership to create a new database of song rights.

Sesac and Global Music Rights are both currently not involved in the project, and that has drawn a cross response from member of the US House of Representatives Jim Sensenbrenner, who has been playing a prominent role in American politicians’ latest drive to regulate music-industry licensing practices.

“Despite claims from BMI and ASCAP that they have been working on this joint database for the past year, they have made no effort to cooperate with Members of Congress on the issue,” said Sensenbrenner in a statement.

“Further, such a database would be incomplete due to the lack of participation from all PROs.”

Sensenbrenner would rather such a database be established through the US Register of Copyrights as a third-party entity.

“If BMI and ASCAP were serious about establishing a music database, not only would they have spoken to my office and other interested Members of Congress about their plans, but they would have also included their fellow PROs in the initiative,” he said.

“With their announcement today, they are grasping at straws; trying to maintain power over a failing process that only serves their interests, not those of the American consumer.”

Stuart Dredge

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