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Sony/ATV Makes Catalog Available Online

Decision could have impact in licensing system review

Sony/ATV Music Publishing says it is making its entire catalog available online.

The catalog, which includes EMI Music Publishing as well, can be viewed and downloaded by music services and “other interested parties,” according to Sony/ATV Chairman/CEO Martin Bandier.

Bandier says the company wants to increase transparency and ensure existing users and prospective licensees can access its music on request.

Authorized users can search the website by song name, alternative titles and composer, as well as other information including country of origin. Sony/ATV has made available a comprehensive list and intends to periodically update the data to reflect the catalog changes.

National Music Publishers’ Association President/CEO David Israelite calls the change “an important step in making the licensing process even more transparent.”

Several witnesses at recent House subcommittee hearings on possible changes to copyright law called for making the music licensing process more transparent, by illuminating who actually owns the copyrights for a song, for example.

The move comes after Bandier recently wrote a letter to songwriters, explaining that Sony/ATV seeks to either partially or completely withdraw performance rights from ASCAP and BMI in order to ensure higher royalties for songwriters. Sony/ATV already withdrew certain digital performance rights from ASCAP and BMI last year.

The potential of further withdrawal is under review by the Justice Department as ASCAP and BMI seek to revise and update their decades-old music performance copyright royalty consent decrees with the government.

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