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McANALLY VS. ASCAP

Shane McAnally, Nashville-based songwriter/producer and Monument Records Co-President, is taking on ASCAP, which altered its distribution methodology after he resigned from the PRO in 2016. That post-departure decision deprived McAnally of more than $1m for hit songs that ASCAP continued to license to radio, he claims.

Writers who have an issue with ASCAP’s accounting are not able to audit or bring a claim in a proper court; instead, claims must be brought in front of the self-selected Board of Review. Unable to obtain relief through the Board of Review process imposed by ASCAP on its members, McAnally is appealing to an arbitration panel in hopes of recovering the monies he has been deprived. In doing so, McAnally hopes to prevent ASCAP from depriving other songwriters of their public performance royalties.

McAnally resigned from ASCAP in 2013 to become a client of Irving Azoff and Randy Grimmett’s Global Music Rights, but ASCAP’s rules prevented him from moving his catalog to GMR. After the termination of his agreement with ASCAP, McAnally says his royalty payments from the org dropped precipitously.

“Shane is a world-class writer fighting on behalf of all writers who may find themselves in a similar situation,” Azoff said. “Despite his repeated requests for information related to his distributions, ASCAP never once explained to him, nor could they point to any of their governing documents that justified his treatment. This is just one in a long series of self-serving ‘rules’ they create to manipulate the system to the detriment of the songwriters they are supposed to protect.”

The arbitration panel is due to convene in the next few weeks.

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