Governor Abbott Urges U.S. Department Of Justice To Reconsider Changes To PRO Licensing Model

Governor Abbott Urges U.S. Department Of Justice To Reconsider Changes To PRO Licensing Model

FROM THE TEXAS MUSIC OFFICE, OFFICE OF THE GOVERNOR:

   Governor Greg Abbott today sent a letter to U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch urging her to reconsider the Department of Justice’s proposed changes to the Performance Rights Organization (PRO) licensing model. In 2015, the Department of Justice announced they would require PROs such as Broadcast Music, Inc. (BMI) and the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) to require 100 percent licensing rather than allowing PROs to negotiate licensing deals based on their market shares. Governor Abbott objected to the Department of Justice’s decision, which runs counter to longstanding industry expectations, and urged Attorney General Lynch to protect the mechanisms that allow musicians to make a living and create wealth.

   “This drastic change in course will have severe consequences for music artists and the music industry as a whole,” Governor Abbott writes in the letter. “The DOJ’s conclusion will inhibit collaboration between music artists, upend longstanding practices within the music industry and further reduce royalty payments to music artists.”

The proposed change would:

  • Discourage songwriters from collaborating with artists under different PROs
  • Force PROs to build new accounting tools, disrupting partnerships throughout the music industry
  • Increase administrative costs for PROs and music artists

 Entire letter from the Governor can be read here