DOJ Makes Comments Public on Potential Modifications of ASCAP and BMI Consent Decrees – Almost 900 Comments Filed!

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The Department of Justice’s Antitrust Division is, as we reported here and here, conducting a review of the consent decrees which govern ASCAP and BMI. Comments were filed in August, and those comments have now been posted to the Division’s website and are available for review here (they are organized alphabetically in groups of 100 under the “Public Comments” heading – click on one batch of 100, and a new screen will open with links to each of the comments in that group). There are 878 comments, most advancing concerns about any potential change in those decrees. While many appear to be form letters from individual businesses who play music in their establishments and are afraid of the new costs that could be imposed were the decrees to be abolished, there are also comments from many others who more thoroughly address the issues. As these have just been posted, and as there are so many comments, we have not been able to analyze them all – but wanted to alert you to their availability in case you were looking for some light weekend reading!

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