RMLC FILES PETITION FOR RATE DETERMINATION AGAINST ASCAP AND BMI
For Immediate Release
Nashville, June 15, 2022 –
Today, the Radio Music License Committee filed a Petition for the determination of reasonable license fees against ASCAP and BMI in a consolidated proceeding before a single judge in the federal district court for the Southern District of New York. In doing so, the RMLC has invoked a provision under the Music Modernization Act that ends the historical requirement for one designated judge to hear all ASCAP-related claims and a different judge to hear all BMI-related claims. For years, ASCAP and BMI have each argued to the RMLC that their respective share of music performances on RMLC member stations was larger than the other’s share; and the RMLC looks forward to addressing ASCAP’s and BMI’s radio “market share” claims before a single judge.
The petition filed by the RMLC is based on provisions of both the ASCAP and BMI antitrust consent decrees that entitle licensees who are not able to secure a negotiated resolution of ASCAP and BMI license fees to obtain a determination of reasonable license fees from the court. RMLC seeks a determination of fees and terms for the license period January 1, 2022 through December 31, 2026.
RMLC and ASCAP Reach Interim License Agreement commencing January 1, 2022
The ASCAP industrywide license for the term 2017-21 expired on December 31, 2021. The parties have now agreed to an interim license commencing January 1, 2022. The interim license effectively rolls over the terms of the expired license until the parties negotiate a new agreement. Once a new license is reached, either through negotiation or court adjudication, the interim license fees may be retroactively adjusted to reflect the new license terms and rate. In the meantime, station operators should continue to make payments to ASCAP, as billed by ASCAP. Operators should also submit their 2021 revenue reports to ASCAP immediately, if you have not already done so.
ASCAP AND THE RADIO MUSIC LICENSE COMMITTEE ANNOUNCE NEW AGREEMENT 12/15/2016
New York, NY, December 15, 2016: The Radio Music License Committee (RMLC) and the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) today announced a new five-year agreement through 2021 that sets the rates payable by over 10,000 of America’s commercial terrestrial radio stations to publicly perform more than 10.5 million musical works in the ASCAP repertory. The RMLC represents the vast majority of the nation’s radio stations and ASCAP represents 600,000 songwriters, composers and music publisher members whose songs and compositions comprise the largest catalog of music played on commercial AM/FM radio of any performing rights organization in the United States.
The agreement covers the five-year period 2017 to 2021. It provides for increases in the rates paid by radio stations to perform music by ASCAP members via terrestrial, over-the-air broadcasts as well as certain digital transmissions and, for the first time, expressly affirms the percentage share of radio performances represented by ASCAP — at a level that reflects that ASCAP licenses more performances on broadcast radio than any other performing rights organization.
ASCAP CEO Elizabeth Matthews commented: “We are confident that our new agreement will provide enhanced financial benefits to ASCAP songwriters, composers and music publishers at a time of tremendous disruption in the music industry. Reaching a voluntary agreement with the terrestrial radio industry enables ASCAP to stabilize and grow revenues for our members while continuing to aggressively advocate for regulatory reform to modernize the music licensing system.”
RMLC Chairman Ed Christian commented: “This agreement demonstrates how the creative and music user communities can work together in good faith to produce an outcome that is positive for both sides. The increase in ASCAP fees is consistent with ASCAP’s established spin share on radio. We are pleased to close this deal ensuring that there will be no interruption in ASCAP music being performed on American radio at a time when the music licensing landscape has become increasingly complex.”
The American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) is a professional membership organization of songwriters, composers and music publishers of every kind of music. ASCAP’s mission is to license and promote the music of its members and foreign affiliates, obtain fair compensation for the public performance of their works and to distribute the royalties that it collects based upon those performances. ASCAP members write the world’s best-loved music and ASCAP has pioneered the efficient licensing of that music to hundreds of thousands of enterprises who use it to add value to their business – from bars, restaurants and retail, to radio, TV and cable, to Internet, mobile services and more. The ASCAP license offers an efficient solution for businesses to legally perform ASCAP music while respecting the right of songwriters and composers to be paid fairly. With 600,000 members representing more than 10 million copyrighted works, ASCAP is the worldwide leader in performance royalties, service and advocacy for songwriters and composers, and the only American performing rights organization (PRO) owned and governed by its writer and publisher members. Learn more and stay in touch at www.ascap.com, on Twitter @ASCAP and on Facebook.
About the RMLC
The Radio Music License Committee is a non-profit entity that has roots dating back to the 1950’s. It represents the interests of the vast majority of commercial radio stations in the U.S. with regard to music licensing matters involving performance right organizations such as ASCAP, BMI and SESAC. The RMLC’s Board of Directors consists of a diverse group of radio station owners and/or management who serve on a voluntary basis and without compensation.
Sr. Director of PR
Radio Music License Committee