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DOJ ASKS: ARE CONSENT DECREES OUTDATED?

The Justice Department will soon be exploring whether the consent decrees BMI and ASCAP signed 78 years ago still hold water in the digital age, The Wall Street Journal reported.

The first meeting took place Monday to discuss possible legislation that would create a new licensing system, the Journal reported. The staff of Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham (R., S.C.) is planning the meetings.

The committee will hear the two sides—one that says artists and music publishers are prevented from making licensing deals and potentially losing money vs. those who believe anarchy will erupt is there are no rules keeping the business stable.

The Justice Department is studying the competitive impacts of the decrees and has made moves to cancel ones they declare outdated or in need of modernization.

The activity follows last year’s approval of the Music Modernization Act, a rare law supported by both sides of the aisle.

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