Just the latest potential shakeup to the US system of music-licensing is the Department of Justice’s antitrust division’s review of the ‘consent decrees’ which govern collecting societies ASCAP and BMI. Now the body that represents streaming services, the Digital Media Association (DiMA) has teamed up with radio-industry body the Radio Music License Committee (RMLC) to warn against a hasty removal of the decrees.
“We are living in a golden age of music in which fans and creators alike are benefiting from a highly competitive marketplace that allows any piece of music to be enjoyed wherever and whenever we want, all at the push of the button,” said DiMA’s CEO Garrett Levin in a statement. “This benefits music fans, artists, songwriters and all of us in the music ecosystem, which is why it is no surprise that everyone from small businesses and restaurants to the streaming platforms DiMA represents have had a singular message for the Justice Department: the ASCAP and BMI consent decrees are vital to ensuring a robust and competitive music marketplace today and for the future.”
What DiMA and the RMLC want is for the Department of Justice to “formally establish a blue-ribbon federal advisory committee to assist in the review process”, including representatives of artists and listeners. The debate continues.