American publishers and PROs are up in arms over reports that the Department of Justice will force them into a ‘100% licensing’ system where any publisher with a share of a song can license the track to a digital service without requiring similar agreements from its other publishers.

Amid protests, however, DoJ boss Loretta Lynch has said that her department’s review of the publishing licensing system is not finalised. “My understanding is that the review is not complete… and the decision hasn’t been made and the discussion is still ongoing,” said Lynch during a House Judiciary Committee hearing yesterday, as reported by Billboard. “It will be a few more months before [the review] is done.” Yet publishers and PROs see the 100% licensing move as certain, and remain angry about it – especially as the DoJ appears to be ruling out the changes they really did want: enabling publishers to withdraw from ASCAP and BMI to strike direct deals with digital services.

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