Dear ASCAP Members,

I am pleased to announce that the Department of Justice has opened a formal review of the consent decrees that govern how ASCAP and BMI songwriters are compensated for their work. We at ASCAP see this as very positive news.

You might be aware that the 70-year-old ASCAP consent decree has not been updated in 13 years – before the introduction of the iPod. Since then, new technologies have dramatically changed the way people listen to music. We believe that the consent decree needs to be modified to reflect those changes and to help ensure that members are compensated in a way that reflects the true value of their works. That is why we have been leading the fight for reform. The DOJ’s decision to review the consent decrees is a major step in the right direction.

For over 100 years, ASCAP has kept American music flowing by making sure any business that needs a license to perform musical works is able to get one at a reasonable price, while guaranteeing fair compensation for our songwriters and composers.

We at ASCAP are looking forward to working with the Department of Justice to reform our music licensing system in ways that will enable us to better serve the more than 500,000 members we represent, the businesses that depend on our music and the people who listen to it. We have proposed meaningful changes we believe will make the system more efficient and effective now and into the future.

A more detailed description of the Department’s review can be found online here. To learn more about our advocacy efforts and how you can get involved, visit

Thank you for your support, and we will keep you updated on further developments.

Paul Williams
ASCAP President and Chairman

Leave a Reply