Publishers and songwriters got some truly good news this week with the announcement of two House Judiciary Committee hearings to discuss possible changes for music licensing. The first will take place on June 10 and according to Billboard, the second will happen on June 25th.
These proceedings are intended to allow various concerned parties to present arguments and opinions as to how new changes might improve and or simplify current rules and licensing structures. The impact of these events could introduce wide sweeping changes to future music industry royalty structures and effect all concerned including creators, music distributors—especially streaming companies—and also consumers.
Slated to appear on June 10 are a variety of music organization heads including David Israelite, (NMPA), Lee Knife (Digital Media), Lee Thomas Miller (Pres. of NSAI), Neil Portnow (Recording Academy), Michael O’Neill (BMI) and Jim Griffin (One House).
Speakers for the June 25 gathering, according to Billboard are Paul Williams (ASCAP), Cary Sherman (RIAA), Rosanne Cash (for Americana Music Assoc.), Delida Costin (Pandora), David Frear (SiriusXM), Mike Huppe (Sound Exchange), Darius Van Arman (American Assoc. of Independent Music) and Charles Warfield (Nat. Assoc. Broadcasters).
Certain to be discussed are topics such as consent decrees and more. According to the New York Times, The Justice department, after a 60-day period for public comments about consent decrees could recommend changes, “which would be reviewed by judges in the US District Court for the Southern District of New York… Billions of dollars in royalties are at stake, and the lobbying fight that is very likely to unfold would pit Silicon Valley giants like Pandora and Google against music companies and songwriter groups.”
ASCAP President Paul Williams commented, “ASCAP remains committed to working with the Department of Justice and all industry stakeholders to modernize the music licensing system so that it better serves songwriters, the businesses who depend on our music and the people who listen to it – not just today, but for generations to come.”