Direct Licensing Carve-Outs For PRO Blanket Licenses – Oral Arguments This Thursday

Of interest to those of us who practice in the area of compulsory (or consent-decree) copyright licensing and rate-setting:  oral argument will be heard by the Second Circuit this Thursday, June 16, in two appeals (one by ASCAP and one by BMI) of separate rate court decisions won by commercial background music provider DMX.  In both cases, the respective district court judge (Judge Stanton handles rate-setting litigation under the BMI consent decree and Judge Cote recently took over the ASCAP rate-setting docket) substantially decreased the prior rate charged by ASCAP and BMI for the the right to publicly perform the songs in their respective catalogues as part of a commercial background music service (i.e., the music you hear in the background while you shop in a retail store). [Read more…]