May 11, 2005

BMI President And CEO Del Bryant Testifies At House Intellectual Property Subcommittee

Press Release

Washington, D.C., May 11, 2005 - BMI President and CEO Del Bryant, testified today before the House Subcommittee on Courts, the Internet and Intellectual Property, chaired by Congressman Lamar Smith (R-TX), in a hearing devoted to oversight of music performing right organizations. He outlined a series of significant initiatives that BMI has taken to support America’s community of musical creators, protect copyright, and streamline the music licensing process, maximizing the royalties to its songwriters, composers and music publishers, while remaining sensitive to the business needs of its licensees.
Speaking of his parents, the legendary Nashville songwriters Boudleaux and Felice Bryant, Bryant said, “As the son of songwriters, I know firsthand what it means to rely on the income that comes in through BMI from radio, television, and other public performances.  I know how precious these royalties are to the creators and their families, and in more than three decades at BMI, I have learned how precious dollars going out, as license fees, are to broadcasters and other music users.”
“Because we were founded by leaders of the broadcast industry to bring competition into music licensing,” Bryant continued, “BMI has always had a special appreciation for the business models and programming needs of the hundreds of thousands of enterprises across our nation who bring our creators’ music to the public. Our operations are efficient, fair and transparent, and our royalty distributions accurate and timely. The competition among American performing right organizations provides benefits to creators and music users alike . . . a win-win success story for the American free enterprise system.”
Bryant pointed out that BMI’s Consent Decree, which governs its licensing practices, and the establishment in 1994 of a BMI Rate Court, have proven to be a valuable asset both to BMI and to its music users. 
Bryant pointed to BMI’s critical role in the identification of promising new talent and the fostering of musical careers. “BMI is, in fact, the first professional relationship for many songwriters. We guide young creators through the career start-up phase, educating them about the industry and copyright, and bringing their music to the attention of decision makers. BMI provides the most sought after professional workshops for composers in film and television music, jazz, and musical theater. BMI is a co-founder of Austin, Texas’ South By Southwest Music Festival, which annually attracts 10,000 executives, music makers and fans. This year, around the nation, our educational efforts will include hundreds of career seminars and university speaking engagements.”

The full text of Bryant’s testimony is available at

BMI is an American performing rights organization that represents approximately 300,000 songwriters, composers and publishers in all genres of music. With a repertoire of more than 6.5 million musical works from around the world, the non-profit-making corporation collects license fees from businesses that use music, which it then distributes as royalties to the musical creators and copyright owners it represents. The BMI family includes true icons of American music and today’s most successful songwriters and composers: from Hank Williams to Toby Keith; Billie Holliday to Norah Jones; Elvis to Kid Rock; Patsy Cline to Shania Twain; Santana to Gloria Estefan; the Beach Boys and the Eagles to Maroon 5 and 3 Doors Down; Bill Monroe to Alison Krauss; Ray Charles to Jamie Foxx; Miles, Mingus and Monk to Herbie Hancock; John Williams to Danny Elfman; and from classical music legend Charles Ives to the Pulitzer-winning John Adams – and that just scratches the surface.

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Contact: Robbin Ahrold
Vice President, Corporate Relations
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