BMI Government Affairs & Public Policy

BMI’s primary goal is to ensure that our writers, composers and publishers are properly compensated for the public use of their music. This objective requires a multifaceted approach that involves educating about public policy and partnerships.

Thank You for Supporting the Songwriter Equity Act

As the current 114th Congress moves towards adjournment, we want to extend a special thank you to our affiliates who cumulatively sent nearly 4,000 messages to the inboxes of 470 Members of Congress, urging their support of the Songwriter Equity Act (SEA). While the bill was not passed in this Congress,…

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BMI Responds to DOJ Appeal of Fractional Licensing Ruling

President & CEO Mike O’Neill Updates BMI Members on the Latest Development

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BMI Prevails Over DOJ in Consent Decree Dispute

Today, federal Judge Louis Stanton issued an order rejecting the US Department of Justice’s (DOJ) recent interpretation of the BMI consent decree, and concluded that BMI is free to engage in the fractional licensing of musical works.  This decision immediately followed oral arguments heard today from both parties.  Judge Stanton’s ruling…

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Q&A on The Department of Justice’s Interpretation of BMI’s Consent Decree

1. WHAT EXACTLY DID THE DOJ DETERMINE? After BMI spent over two years advocating specific reforms to modernize its outdated consent decree, the Department of Justice (DOJ) refused to agree to BMI’s proposed changes.  Instead, it interpreted the current BMI decree as requiring “100% Licensing,” an issue BMI never…

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What Is BMI?

BMI is the bridge that brings music to business and compensates the creators of that music.

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About BMI’s Consent Decree

Changes are needed to protect the art of songwriting across america and bring music licensing into the 21st century.

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Defining Value Of Music

BMI proposed the following changes to the consent decree:

  1. Digital Rights Withdrawal
  2. Bundling Rights
  3. Arbitration
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BMI’s Original Submission to DOJ

BMI’s public comments to U.S. Department of Justice request in review of consent decrees.

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Congressional Testimony on Music Licensing

Mike O'Neill icon

BMI President and CEO Addresses Congress on the Need for Change

Lee Thomas Miller icon

“When BMI sent me my first royalty check it was for $4.69 … it meant everything. It meant I was a professional songwriter.” “In today’s music industry environment … the one thing keeping songwriters afloat is that performance royalty check.” “Aspects of the BMI consent decree have devalued the musical composition to the point where songwriters are being crushed.” “A legal framework that allows songs to be streamed for free will destroy the livelihood of the American songwriter if allowed to continue.” “My wife of 23 years says … ‘The only days I circle on my calendar every year are the four days your BMI check is coming.’”

Lee Thomas Miller
BMI Songwriter and President of the Nashville Songwriter’s Association International

Advocacy Highlights

BMI’s Advocacy Activities

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Foremost, BMI strives to educate the public about the need for copyright protection so that the creative ecosystem between art and commerce can continue. In doing this, BMI takes an active role in the public policy conversation on the development of intellectual property rights in the digital age, and partners with leading academic institutions by sending BMI experts as speakers on leading industry panels and seminars.

As a company serving music users ranging from the corner bar or restaurant to the largest of broadcast and digital media entities, BMI’s business activities touch on a number of issues of great interest to federal and state legislators. BMI works closely with members of Congress as they oversee copyright law and draft future legislation that will affect our affiliates. BMI also actively participates in international forums that seek to redefine global rights management mechanisms for the digital age.


BMI is a member of CISAC, the leading worldwide network of authors’ societies, to promote the interests of creators and provide the highest business standards that will protect their rights globally.

BMI is also a proud member of the Copyright Alliance and joined the call to increase support for the protection of intellectual property.

In collaboration with ASCAP and SOCAN, BMI has created MusicMark. Once complete, publishers will be able to submit a single registration file simultaneously to all three performing rights organizations (PROs), even if the work was co-written by members of different societies. The system will also provide common, authoritative picture of the musical works represented by the participating collecting societies.

Public Policy

BMI carefully monitors legislative activity to serve as a voice for our songwriters, composers, and music publishers, wherever their interests may be implicated, to preserve the value of music.

Take Action

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Contact Us

BMI Office of Government Affairs & Public Policy
7 World Trade Center
250 Greenwich Street
New York, NY 10007-0030