Skip to comments.Music Rights Orgs Hoping Trump Won’t Hold Hillary Donations Against Them
Posted on 11/25/2016 7:10:49 AM PST by Kaslin
Donald Trump put fear in the hearts of the left before the election, but since then, his opponents have gone completely off the deep end.
Theyve marched through the streets. Theyve destroyed property. Theyve beaten Trump supporters and lashed out at his vice president after he attended a Broadway play.
They fear correctly, it seems, judging from the appointments and other decrees emanating from Trump Tower that, unlike the current occupant, Trump looks at the presidency as something to do, not something to be.
Hes not thinking about having Jay-Z and Beyonce at the White House or which fashion designers have caught the eye of his wife or whats in or out on school lunches. He thinks about actually governing, running the country properly, changing its direction and re-asserting American power and influence in the world.
And the protectors of the status quo and those who enabled it for their own expediency are justifiably worried.
Take, for instance, the music industry. Companies in the content sectors donated nearly $7 million to Hillary Clinton and less than $140,000 to Trump. Vivendi, Sony Music Entertainment and the Warner Music Group big players in music donated nearly $750,000 to Hillary and $17,850 to Trump.
They supported Clinton not just because she is far more likely to invite them to the White House, but because they want some changes made to copyright law, and they obviously thought she was more favorably disposed to a pay-for-play arrangement.
With regard to music, the two largest music collectives ASCAP and BMI control the rights to 90 percent of all compositions. They license songs to bars, restaurants, stores, even elevators and distribute the funds to those who own the rights to the songs.
The government allows these two organizations to control so much of this highly profitable market because it brings order that otherwise would be impossible to obtain. Some compositions are owned by dozens of people, which could make obtaining rights extremely difficult if not impossible.
But businesses are able to license through ASCAP and BMI and avoid infringement suits, and songwriters have entities large enough to enforce their rights.
In return for giving ASCAP and BMI monopoly power, the Department of Justice maintains antitrust consent decrees with the two organizations that restrict monopoly pricing.
Under the consent decrees that govern these businesses which date to the 1940s ASCAP and BMI need reach agreement with only one of the co-owners to license a song to a radio station or retail store so long as the fees from the license are properly distributed to all other owners. These are not exclusive agreements other rights-holders could enter into agreements with other such organizations.
These rights organizations are not poor. BMI topped $1 billion in annual sales last year, and ASCAP grew nearly 7 percent in 2014. But they have developed schemes to collect even more money from the system … if only they could get an administration to go along and help change the consent decrees.
They want to impose whats called fractional licensing, which would require restaurants that seek to play licensed music to come to agreement with every rights holder to a given work. Given the millions of works a restaurant has to license to avoid infringement suits, fractional licensing would lead to dramatically higher prices for music licenses and make it nearly impossible to license the rights to some music.
How will Trump handle this? Nobody knows for sure. The consent decrees are legal they were upheld by a federal court as recently as last summer and they do work. Theyve brought unprecedented order and growth to an industry with a long history of anticompetitive behavior.
Trump transition officials have met with some stakeholders who have asked for the consent decrees to be thrown out, but the team has not given indications about his policy preferences. Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) held a hearing on this issue, where a number of the anticompetitive concerns relating to ASCAP and BMI were raised.
The Department of Justice just finished a more than two-year review of the ASCAP and BMI antitrust consent decrees, after which it concluded the consent decrees should not be changed to allow fractional licensing. ASCAP and BMI have appealed the decision and turned to their Capitol Hill allies to help.
Trump should leave this market alone to function as it should. The consent decrees have worked for 75 years, and the industry has grown wealthy over the arrangement.
Moreover, this is the very kind of insider favoritism and crony capitalism Trump was elected to stop. The big rights holders and music producers backed Hillary Clinton because they thought they could get her to change the rules to help them make more money. It wasnt for you or me or the music fans of America, and it wasnt for the musicians and creators.
It was for the bottom line of the big shots who always seem to get their way. And, as the voters let us know loud and clear on Nov. 8, thats gone on long enough.
Mercy is not for the vanquished to command.
[snip] he Department of Justice just finished a more than two-year review of the ASCAP and BMI antitrust consent decrees,[snip]
From what we know today about the corrupt DOJ, that statement is supposed to carry any weight? I would submit they have just opened a box that they wanted to stay closed. Sessions should have one of his deputies look into everything about this sometime down the road and let them hang in the wind.
“Music Rights? What the heck is a music right?
It’s not the donations, but the cronyism Trump will address if he chooses.
A Trump DOJ should prosecute “music” companies, writers, producers, performers, licensing organizations, distributors, and retailers for the toxic filth they fire hose on our society and directly into the brains of American youth.
Trumps presidential transition team met with dozens of tech, telecom, and media representatives Friday, but according to several people familiar with the meeting, team Trump offered little insight into the Republican Presidential candidates view on tech policy. .... Representatives from Google, Uber, and Twitter attended the meeting. They were joined by trade and advocacy groups including the Consumer Technology Association, the Information Technology Industry Council and the Internet Association. About 50 people attended the off-the-record meeting, which took place at the offices of the law firm Baker Hostetler, in Washington, DC. The Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) and AT&T were also represented .
In the first place, this isn't about "technology policy" e.g. science and technology for the betterment of the people. This is about intellectual property protection, a lot of which is pushed by patent and copy-right "trolls."
This article is exactly why we launched a nuclear Trump to irradiate and sterilize the swamp. The attendees at this meeting would be a good start. They don't want less regulation. They are the guys who want more regulation that benefit THEM.
And these folks are some of the best-heeled cronies around. They slither in swamp muck.
Music Rights generally refers to the the copyrights on music. It refers to the composers and performers. If the music is being used in public, such as department stores or restaurants, the rights holders are dues some sort of royalty. Many places use a "muzak" instrumental version of a song to avoid having to pay additional rights to the original perfomers. This is why some old TV shows have not been released on DVD or Blu-ray. If the show features recordings of popular songs, the rights have to be re-negotiated with the rights holders, adding to the expense of the release. In some cases, they replace the original music rather than pay the fees for the rights.
They are going to pay a price.
Trump is taking names.
There will be payback.
In the long run that’s the only way to put a stop
to this insane sh**. Make the perpetrators (finally)
pay a price.
There are consequences!
That is a truly concise assessment.
IMHO they should then be called Property Rights groups because 1) that’s the founding principal from with that derives and 2) it would drive the libs in the music industry crazy to have their group referred to that way!
For myself, I think that copyright continues on far, far too long. IMHO, pretty much anything over 50 years old should pass into the public domain. Yeah, that includes Beatles songs.
this is why all the big elites and companies wanted the Toon....she is willing to do anything, anything at all for a price, and its so comforting for the elite companies to rely on simple money to make decisions, other than legality, fairness, integrity,or American values...
I don't see why not, she'd already put the foreign policy of the United States up for sale. But they may have to wait a bit, because Trump has a lot bigger issues on his plate at the moment.
What he needs to do is push congress to return copyright law to it’s initial 14 year term for registered works, with a possible single extension of 14 years.. That would make most of this crap moot, as there would be a huge catalog of public domain stuff available that people could use. That would put the screws on BMI and ASCAP to be reasonable.
The initial copyright was for a maximum 28-year term. Under that regime, the entire Beatles catalog would be in the public domain, as well as most all 'classic rock'. Heck, Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon was released in '73.
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