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BMI Names Government Relations VP

Michael Collins will be based in D.C.

Broadcast Music Inc., the music licensing organization, has named Michael Collins as vice president of government relations effective Monday, Nov. 5.

Collins has been with the D.C. lobbying firm of Mehlman Castagnetti Rosen & Thomas. Before that, he was legislative director for Sen. Tom Udall (D-N.M.).

Government relations had been handled by Ann Sweeney, our SVP, international and global policy, who had been handling domestic efforts as well as overseeing international, said BMI, the latter which entails maximizing global royalties and overseeing relationships with performing rights groups abroad. “Having Michael on board now gives us a full-time presence in D.C. and allows Ann, who is based in NY, to focus fully on her international role,” said a BMI spokesperson.

The move also follows the recent passage of the Music Modernization Act, which was a big focus for Sweeney domestically.

His goal will be to protect the interests of composers and publishers and comes as the Justice Department is considering lifting the consent decrees under which performance royalty organizations (PROs) like BMI collect their fees.

Justice antitrust Makan Delrahim has pointed out that the consent decrees date from decades ago and signaled it might be time to let the marketplace, rather than rate court judges, set rates for compensation.

BMI backs reviewing the decrees, created in an era of phonograph records, to reflect the digital age.

Collins will be based in Washington and report directly to BMI president Mike O’Neill.