It’s the DOJ ruling on consent decrees, and I feel fine

There has been a lot of ink spilled over the recent DOJ ruling regarding the ASCAP and BMI consent decrees. I’d like to go into it in depth.

If you want to dive right in, you could do worse than to read the many, many comment submissions on the DOJ’s website. In fact, I sent one in myself (PDF).

But as an introduction, I’d like to describe the consent decrees themselves, and briefly go into why they exist. Continue reading

Pandora And SiriusXM Pay Royalties to Pre-1972 Artists

If you have been following stories about Pandora, this headline may surprise you. Did something happen recently? Did they lose some lawsuit? Change their policies?

In fact, nothing whatsoever has changed. Pandora and SiriusXM are paying exactly the same royalties they were yesterday. The key word is the word “artist.” If you think songwriters are “artists,” then the statement is true, and always was. But if you are talking about recording artists – artists who perform the song on the recordings, but did not write the music – then the title is wrong.

Without clarifying which sort of “artist” you’re talking about, the title is misleading. If you are deliberately being misleading, then in my book, you are lying.

Continue reading