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Gerson: We must have unity.
JODY GERSON'S MESSAGE TO THE TROOPS

UMPG ruler Jody Gerson sent this note out to her troops regarding the recent Department of Justice decision regarding the consent decrees and PRO licensing.

Dear Colleagues,

At UMPG, our approach to the business is fundamentally grounded in our steadfast commitment to do what's best for songwriters.  No matter what, all of us at UMPG will continue to lead, innovate and adapt in the marketplace to ensure that our songwriters achieve greatest value.

Two recent events call that to mind.  First, you may have seen reports that the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) has issued a recommendation on the consent decrees governing ASCAP and BMI.

In short, we believe that the DOJ's decision is bad for songwriters and we are deeply disappointed.  The DOJ not only declined to update consent decrees that haven't been updated in over a decade and badly need to be modernized for today's market, but they also decided that ASCAP and BMI must engage in “100 percent” licensing.  

We do not believe that is in the best interest of songwriters because 100 percent licensing will lead to unfair prices that do not reflect the true value of the music that our songwriters create. It will also provide a disincentive to songwriters to work with fellow writers who are signed with a different PRO.

As we learn more, we will update you further but as always our response will remain grounded in our fundamental approach to our business and our songwriters.

Separately, but recalling the same values, I am heartened by the music community's recent unity on the effort to end the "value grab" and win fair compensation for creators.  Over the past couple of weeks, more than 500 U.S. artists and more than 1000 European artists, along with publishers and indies and majors and many more, urged Congress and the European Union, respectively, to address this problem.  

If we are to make progress on the challenges we face as an industry, we must have this kind of unity.

Thank you for all you do at UMPG to help us live up to those core values. 

Jody

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