For decades, ASCAP and BMI have been subject to antitrust consent decrees with the Department of Justice, which include restrictions on the ways in which these Performing Rights Organizations can and can’t issue licenses and a framework on how disputes over royalty rates are to be resolved. Recent rulings in the “rate courts” have addressed the ability of publishers to withdraw their performing rights for certain digital uses, with different results coming out of the separate ASCAP and BMI proceedings. With these developments leading to headaches for licensors and licensees alike, everyone is starting to ask whether the consent decrees and rate court procedures themselves should be overhauled. Last year, the DOJ opened both consent decrees for review, asking important questions about their relevance and effectiveness.
Join us as our panel of experts discusses the key considerations around publisher withdrawals, rate court rulings and the impact and future of the consent decrees.
Jacqueline C. Charlesworth, General Counsel and Associate Register of Copyrights, oversees the legal affairs of the U.S. Copyright Office. As General Counsel, she has primary responsibility for the legal interpretation of the U.S. Copyright Act. In addition to supervising the litigation-related and rulemaking activities of the Office, she advises Congress, the Department of Justice, and other agencies on a wide range of copyright-related law and policy matters. Jacqueline was appointed General Counsel in July 2013. Previously, she served as Senior Counsel to the Register of Copyrights. She joined the Copyright Office in 2012 from a New York City law firm, where she focused on music and copyright issues. Before entering private practice, she held the position of Senior Vice President and General Counsel of the National Music Publishers’ Association (NMPA), representing music publishers and songwriters in litigation, regulatory and other matters. Prior to that, she served as Senior Vice President and General Counsel of The Harry Fox Agency, Inc. (HFA). In addition to precedential copyright cases, Jacqueline has handled significant transactional matters within the music industry. Acting on behalf of publishers and songwriters, she worked with digital media companies and record labels to enable the launch of early on-demand streaming services, successfully negotiating the first rates and terms for those services to be adopted under the statutory licensing provisions of the Copyright Act. She is also responsible for a long-term, multiparty agreement to improve industry licensing practices. Jacqueline received her J.D. from Yale Law School and holds a B.A. in American Civilization from Brown University. At law school, she served on the Executive Committee of The Yale Law Journal. Following law school, she clerked for Judge Miriam Goldman Cedarbaum of the Southern District of New York and Judge Betty B. Fletcher of the Ninth Circuit.
Stuart Rosen is the Senior Vice President and General Counsel of BMI, overseeing global operations of the Legal Department, directing the organization’s legal affairs, as well as all attorneys working within the company. Stuart joined BMI in 1996 as an Associate Attorney. He was promoted to Senior Attorney in 1999, Assistant Vice President of Legal Affairs in 2002, and Vice President of Legal in 2007. From 2004 through 2011, he also served the Board of Directors and the company in the capacity of corporate secretary. Prior to BMI, Stuart was in private practice at Sills Cummis Epstein & Gross and Thelen Reid Brown Raysman & Steiner LLP. He earned his JD from the University of Pennsylvania Law School.
Richard Reimer is Senior Vice President, Legal Services at ASCAP. Richard joined the Society's Office of General Counsel as a staff attorney in 1971, and has served as Senior Attorney, Assistant General Counsel, Deputy General Counsel, Director of Legal Affairs and Managing Attorney, and Vice-President, Legal Services. He assumed his current position of Senior Vice President, Legal Services, in 2004 and is responsible for all aspects of litigation involving ASCAP. He has had a major role in ASCAP's antitrust litigation and fee determination proceedings, lobbying activities, the conduct of infringement litigation on behalf of ASCAP’s members, and grievance proceedings brought before the ASCAP Board of Review. Richard has provided legal advice to ASCAP’s New Media Licensing Department, on a wide range of issues involving Internet and wireless music services. He has also argued appeals of ASCAP's infringement cases in the federal circuit courts, lectured at law schools, and participated in government, bar association and CLE Intellectual Property seminars throughout the United States. Richard is a graduate of New York University School of Law, and a member of the Institute of Judicial Administration in New York.
Kenneth Steinthal is a partner in the Intellectual Property Practice in King & Spalding’s San Francisco office. He has more than 30 years of experience litigating matters in the IP/media sector, both in jury and bench trial settings and before copyright tribunals in the United States and internationally (where he has earned “rights of audience” to represent his clients). Ken’s practice is focused on copyright, DMCA safe-harbor and antitrust/rate-setting cases involving the distribution of audio and audiovisual content, often involving the establishment of structures and rates for the exploitation of musical works and sound recordings in both traditional (e.g., cable, satellite, broadcast) and new media distribution environments. In the last two years, Ken has led the recent trial and related court proceedings on behalf of Pandora against ASCAP and BMI. He also is representing NPR in the ongoing “Web IV” proceedings to establish rates and terms for webcasters for the statutory license term 1/1/2016 – 12/31/2020. And he is also lead counsel defending a group of defendants (Amazon, Microsoft, Apple, eMusic and The Orchard) in a putative class action alleging systemic failures to clear mechanical rights associated with the sale of downloads in the United States.
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