The American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) and the Department of Justice have agreed on a new "consent decree" governing the songwriter group's operations.
While ASCAP's operations have not and will not involve the "grand right," which involves dramatic and theatrical works with music, the performing right group expects its operations to change fundamentally once the new consent decree is approved and is adopted.
Entered in 1950 and revised in 1960, the ASCAP consent decree spell out how the songwriter group can license music and distribute royalties based on collected licensing fees. ASCAP's "membership and distribution" rules, and ASCAP's "licensing of music users" are the areas expected to be affected by the new decree.
According to an ASCAP statement, the group's board "believed firmly in a transparent distribution system, uniform application of distribution rules, and freedom for writers and publishers to choose their affiliation without constraint."
Details on the new consent decree are expected in the near future. -- By Murdoch McBride