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"Massive Victory" For Songwriters, Publishers As Court Allows Fractional Licensing - BMI, ASCAP React

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In a major victory for songwriters and publishers, the Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit ruled against the U.S. Department of Justice which had sought to end the practice of fractional music licensing. 

  The U.S. Second Circuit agreed with Judge Louis L. Stanton’s September 16, 2016 decision that the BMI consent decree allows for the practice of fractional licensing.  

“This is a massive victory for songwriters, composers, music publishers and the entire industry<" said Mike O’Neill, President and CEO of BMI in a statement."We have said from the very beginning that BMI’s consent decree allowed for fractional licensing, and we are incredibly gratified that Judge Stanton and the Second Circuit agreed with our position.  

“We thank all the songwriters, composers, publishers and organizations who supported us throughout this process, which unfortunately, has been a nearly two-year distraction from our original intent which was to update our outdated consent decree and modernize music licensing," he continued. “We look forward to our continued efforts to protect and grow the value of music.”  

From Elizabeth Matthews, ASCAP CEO:   

“The Second Circuit’s ruling today is an important victory for music creators across the country. The Court affirms what we have known all along, that the right of public performance allows for the fractional licensing of musical works in our repertories, and the consent decrees do not limit that right. ASCAP and BMI can now continue to offer blanket licenses to our hundreds of thousands of licensees that contain all the shares of works that are in our repertories and the livelihoods of our 650,000 ASCAP songwriter, composer and publisher members can continue to depend on a strong collective licensing system. ASCAP remains committed to making music licensing more efficient, effective and transparent for today’s digital music marketplace."

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