ASCAP scraps exclusivity clauses as it settles for $1.75m with DoJ

The American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) has reached a $1.75m Settlement Agreement with the U.S. Department of Justice addressing two specific concerns raised during the Department’s ongoing review of the ASCAP Consent Decree.

Although ASCAP has admitted no wrongdoing, it has agreed to scrap exclusivity clauses in some historical agreements with members – while pointing out that such provisions have never been enforced.

“Settling this matter was the right thing to do for our members,” said ASCAP CEO Elizabeth Matthews.

“With these issues resolved, we continue our focus on leading the way towards a more efficient, effective and transparent music licensing system and advocating for key reforms to the laws that govern music creator compensation.”

The Settlement Agreement also concludes a review of the composition of the ASCAP Board of Directors by the Department of Justice.

The Agreement maintains the current ASCAP Board of Directors structure of 12 songwriter/composer members and 12 music publisher members elected by the membership, which has been in place for 95 years, while ensuring that publisher board members do not participate in the approval of new licensing agreements.

“We took immediate steps to resolve this matter and have strong controls in place moving forward,” said ASCAP President and Chairman Paul Williams.

“This settlement enables ASCAP to focus on our mission of protecting the rights of music creators, who depend on us for their livelihoods, and to maintain our unique status as the only member-owned and governed performing rights organization in the U.S.”

The Settlement Agreement was approved by the ASCAP Board of Directors and is now subject to the approval of the ASCAP Federal Rate Court Judge.Music Business Worldwide

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