Governor Greg Abbott takes firm position on behalf of Texas songwriters

August 29, 2016

Governor Greg Abbott takes firm position on behalf of Texas songwriters

Governor Abbott sent a letter to U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch last week, urging her to reconsider The United States' Department of Justice's proposed changes to the Performance Rights Organization (PRO) licensing model. In 2015, the Department of Justice announced they would require PROs such as Broadcast Music, Inc. (BMI) and the American Society of Composers, Authors & Publishers (ASCAP) to require 100 percent licensing rather than allowing PROs to negotiate licensing deals based on their market shares. Governor Abbott objected to the Department of Justice’s decision, which runs counter to longstanding industry expectations, and urged Attorney General Lynch to protect the mechanisms that allow musicians to make a living and create wealth.

“This drastic change in course will have severe consequences for music artists and the music industry as a whole,” Governor Abbott writes in the letter. “The DOJ’s conclusion will inhibit collaboration between music artists, upend longstanding practices within the music industry and further reduce royalty payments to music artists.”

The proposed change would:

  • Discourage songwriters from collaborating with artists under different PROs
  • Force PROs to build new accounting tools, disrupting partnerships throughout the music industry
  • Increase administrative costs for PROs and music artists

View the Letter