NMPA Commends SONA for Taking on DOJ

September 15, 2016

For Immediate Release: September 15, 2016
Media Contact: Charlotte Sellmyer

Washington, D.C. – National Music Publishers’ Association President & CEO David Israelite today commended the Songwriters of North America (SONA) for filing a lawsuit against the Department of Justice alleging that their recent decision regarding the ASCAP and BMI consent decrees, including their 100% licensing interpretation, unfairly and unlawfully hurts creators.

“I commend the Songwriters of North America for standing up to the bureaucrats at DOJ whose overstepping could have catastrophic consequences for our industry,” said David Israelite, NMPA President & CEO. “Songwriters and music publishers were dumbfounded when unconfirmed career attorneys not only decided that the outdated consent decrees would remain in place, but they took liberties with their interpretation that defy explanation. This decision only benefitted the massive tech companies who are now inexplicably being subsidized by songwriters.

“As SONA maintains, DOJ’s decision to demand 100% licensing unlawfully and unconstitutionally deprives creators of their rights. It also could invalidate private contracts, which is something all property owners should be extremely concerned about. If this decision stands, it could set a precedent giving DOJ carte blanche to control much more than music creators on a massive scale.

“DOJ’s thus-far unchecked power is a threat to all songwriters and anyone who creates a product that massive corporations with outsized influence in Washington seek to sell for a profit. I commend SONA for speaking up.”