Songwriter Organization Sues Justice Department

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UPDATE: A federal judge rejected the Justice Department’s ruling on music licensing Friday, a decision that has been applauded by songwriters. Friday’s decision applies only to licensing agency Broadcast Music, Inc. (BMI); Ascap’s case is being heard by a different judge, the New York Times reports. “Now songwriters can go into writing rooms and not feeling like they have to bring lawyers with them,” BMI chief executive Michael O’Neill told the newspaper after Friday’s decision. As SONA wrote after celebrating BMI’s victory, “Our fight continues auspiciously!”

An organization representing songwriters filed a lawsuit Tuesday against the Justice Department, alleging that a ruling last month promoted payout disparity by streaming services and digital radio. The New York Times reports that the suit also names Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch and Renata B. Hesse, a Justice Department partner who oversees antitrust cases, as defendants.


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