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Music Licensing Hearings Begin Tuesday

Licensing, digital rights and copyright law to be explored

The nexus between music licensing and copyright law will get an airing Tuesday in Congress.

The topic is of interest as the Justice Department has recently said it’s reviewing the consent decrees governing how much licensing fees ASCAP and BMI can garner from radio — potentially the precursor to a squabble over music and money for all parties concerned. Both music licensing groups say their agreements need to be modernized as music meets the digital age.

The topic is so large that the Subcommittee on Intellectual Property of the House Judiciary Committee is splitting up the panel into two days.

Tomorrow’s panel will include testimony from National Music Publishers Association President/CEO David Israelite, The Recording Academy President/CEO Neil Portnow, BMI CEO Michael O’Neill and Digital Media Association Executive Director Lee Knife. Also slated to testify are: Nashville Songwriters Association President Lee Thomas Miller, TV Music License Committee Executive Director Will Hoyt and OneHouse Managing Director Jim Griffin.

Radio executive Charles Warfield will represent NAB during the June 25 hearing, along with representatives from Pandora, SiriusXM and SoundExchange.