954-533-0825
contact menuMenu

Protecting Your Rights Personalized and Knowledgeable Legal Representation

Songwriters sue Justice Department over lost Copyright interests

Songwriters are in many ways the backbone of the music industry. Without them, after all, there would be no songs. Recent actions by the Department of Justice are putting songwriters at an extreme disadvantage when it comes to online Copyright licensing.

Last month the DOJ ruled that the two largest clearinghouses for music royalties, Ascap and BMI, change licensing procedures to comply with federal law. This would require these organizations to comply with 100 percent licensing, meaning a clearinghouse must legally represent the entire song or remove it from online catalogs. The problem with this is that it may violate the property rights of songwriters, particularly on collaborations, who will now find their royalty contracts nullified.

In response to this ruling, the Songwriters of North America (SONA), an advocacy group, have filed a lawsuit against the DOJ. The lawsuit claims, among other things, that the 100 percent licensing rule is in direct conflict with U.S. Copyright law. As stated in the lawsuit: 

The 100 percent mandate is an illegitimate assertion of agency power in gross violation of plaintiffs' due process rights, copyright interests and freedom of contacts, and needs to be set aside.

As it currently stands, songwriters and musicians receive fairly little pay for streaming and digital radio play. In fact, the DOJ's ruling was a direct response to a request by Ascap and BMI to make changes to current regulatory agreements in response to the surge in streaming music. The SONA lawsuit is just one component of the music industry's efforts to fight against the DOJ's recent ruling.

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information
email us for a responseemail us for a response

Contact Attorney Debra Fein Today

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information
disclaimer.

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.

close

Privacy Policy

Fein Law, LLC
633 S. Andrews Avenue, Suite 200
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301

Phone: 954-533-0825
Fort Lauderdale Law Office Map

315 S.E. 7th Street, Suite 301 Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301
Review Us