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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.


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Nomination Period Extended For Songwriter-Member Seats of Music Licensing Collective Board/Committee

The Songwriter MLC Selection Committee opened nominations in November 2018 for songwriter-members of the Board of Directors, Unclaimed Funds Committee and Dispute Resolution Committee of the Music Licensing Collective (MLC) to be submitted to the US Copyright Office for approval as established by the recently passed Music Modernization Act. With the goal of making all qualified songwriters aware of this opportunity, the committee has decided to extend the nomination period for…

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BMI Explains What the Music Modernization Act Means for Songwriters and Composers

Music history was made on October 11, 2018, when the Orrin G. Hatch-Bob Goodlatte Music Modernization Act (MMA) was signed into law. This important legislation updates U.S. copyright law for the digital age and aims to help songwriters and composers receive improved royalty payments for their work when it is streamed. Representing the most meaningful music licensing reform in decades, in addition to benefitting creators, the MMA will streamline the licensing…

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Michael Collins Joins BMI as Vice President, Government Relations

BMI announced today that longtime political strategist Michael Collins is joining the company as Vice President, Government Relations, effective November 5. Collins will be based in Washington, DC and report to BMI President & CEO Mike O’Neill. Collins will be responsible for leading BMI’s efforts to protect the rights of its songwriters, composers and music publishers at all levels of government. This includes oversight of the company’s PAC as well as…

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Music Modernization Act Signed Into Law

Today, the Orrin G. Hatch-Bob Goodlatte Music Modernization Act was signed into law by President Trump, marking a historic moment for the music industry. Notably, this legislation recognizes the essential contributions of the songwriters and composers at its core, who will see significant and deserved benefit, while streamlining the use of their music across businesses. This extraordinary outcome is the result of tremendous collaboration and unprecedented support among diverse stakeholders who…

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DOJ Consent Decree Appeal Deadline Expires – Final Ruling Permitting Fractional Licensing Stands

Yesterday marked the deadline for the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) to file an appeal with the U.S. Supreme Court regarding BMI’s favorable consent decree ruling. With no such action taken, the final decision of the Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit stands that BMI is free to continue to engage in the historic practice of fractional licensing. This development definitively ends litigation between BMI and the DOJ in this…

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BMI Wins Consent Decree Battle Over U.S. Department of Justice

Today the Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit ruled against the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) and affirmed BMI’s consent decree victory. The Second Circuit agreed with Judge Louis L. Stanton’s September 16, 2016 decision that the BMI consent decree allows for the practice of fractional licensing. Mike O’Neill, President and CEO of BMI, stated: “This is a massive victory for songwriters, composers, music publishers and the entire industry. We…

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

Updated August 2017 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 raised and a licensing approach that has never been the industry practice. 2. WHAT IS ‘100% LICENSING’?

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BMI & ASCAP Announce Creation of New Musical Works Database

Comprehensive Resource To Increase Ownership Transparency In Performing Rights Licensing

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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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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


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BMI President and CEO Addresses Congress on the Need for Change

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“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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Education

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.

Partnerships

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. With MusicMark publishers are 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.

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

Learn about the BMI Legislative Fund, a political action committee (PAC) that is a separate entity from Broadcast Music, Inc., which aims to support the modernization of U.S. copyright laws to reflect the many ways music can be experienced in the marketplace and ensure its creators’ compensation is protected for years to come.

Contact Us

BMI Office of Government Affairs & Public Policy