each day and all performances free to badgeholders over 21. The performance space will be set up at 751 Main Street in Park City. 24-31, with music starting at 2 p.m. The ASCAP Music Cafe runs daily for nearly the entirety of the film festival, from Jan.
30-31. Some of the performers will be doing double duty, like Smalls (aka actor/musician Harry Shearer), who's set to perform two sets on Jan.
ASCAP has announced the org's 22nd annual showcase series at the Sundance Film Festival, with a lineup of artists that includes Spinal Tap's Derek Smalls, the Bird and the Bee, Aaron Lee Tasjan, Joseph Arthur, Barry Zito, ZZ Ward and Matt Berninger, the member of the National who's come into his own as a film composer with scores like "The Two Popes."
The other top performing rights organization, BMI, is also active in putting on programs at Sundance each year, but has not yet announced a schedule.
Other performing at the Cafe include Matthew Koma (of Winnetka Bpwling League), Alex Lilly, Colter Wall, Fox Wilde, James Bourne, Jamie Drake, Joe Robinson, Joseph Arthur, Léon, Lizbeth Román, Rain Phoenix, Ron Artis II, Ruen Brothers, Samantha Sidley, Stephen Kellogg, Steven Dayvid McKellar (ex-Civil Twilight) and Jobi Riccio.
For a complete performance schedule and previews of the participating artists, click here.
“We are continuing the tradition in 2020, with eight days of musical performances by extraordinary artists throughout the festival. You will hear unique sets from artists you already know and love, and you’re guaranteed to find some new loves, too.” "For 22 years, the Sundance ASCAP Music Café has shined a spotlight on the exquisite alchemy of sound and vision embodied by the art of filmmaking,” Loretta Muñoz, ASCAP's assistant VP of membership, said in a statement.
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Additionally, ASCAP will throw an invite-only cocktail party for composers and filmmakers in the middle of the festival, on Monday, January 27. Vincent, Ty Segall, Alex Weston and many others. The performing rights organization is trumpeting dozens of composers who scored films in this year's program, among them Hans Zimmer, Pinar Toprak, John Debney, Dan Romer, Nico Muhly, St.

While ASCAP and BMI are fierce competitors in most areas, they are united in saying that the consent decrees are in dire need of updating and issued a joint statement saying so in February.
While the two organizations differ on some points, they both have long agreed that the consent decrees are in dire need of modernization. ASCAP and BMI’s responses to those questions, which were obtained by Variety, are expansive, complex and exceed 30 and 40 pages respectively. A short description of their comments follows.
“The four provisions are:
"ASCAP, BMI and other licensors of music, will remain subject to the same antitrust laws that govern other businesses in the marketplace;
"Nonetheless, BMI would support maintaining certain provisions of the Decree to help transition the industry without disruption."
However, this right should be contingent upon licensees providing ASCAP and BMI with necessary business information and an automatic, fairer, and less costly mechanism for the payment of interim fees. “Allow all music users to continue to have automatic access to the ASCAP and BMI repertoires with the immediate right of public performance.
"Competition in music rights management and public performing rights licensing has proliferated;
"Modern antitrust policy, case law, and enforcement are incompatible with the Decree;
“Preserve the current forms of licenses that the industry has grown accustomed to beyond the traditional blanket license, such as the adjustable fee blanket license and the per-program license.”
Its primary points include:
"The way music is made and consumed has changed dramatically since ASCAP and BMI entered into consent decrees with the Department of Justice (DOJ) in 1941;
Today was the deadline for the submission of public comments on the process — solicited by the DOJ from “interested persons, including songwriters, publishers, licensees, and other industry stakeholders" — seeking to answer the following questions:
Are existing antitrust statutes and applicable caselaw sufficient to protect competition in the absence of the Consent Decrees?
Last year, Makan Delrahim, Assistant Attorney General for the Anti-Trust Division of the Department of Justice, announced that he will be examining the consent decrees to determine their validity. (Earlier this week, 12 free market organizations asked the DOJ to strengthen the consent decrees, arguing that the “inherently anti-competitive” music industry needs those regulations.)
"BMI strongly disagrees with the assertion by some music users that their businesses are reliant on the Decree and that they would be unable to survive in its absence;
ASCAP CEO Elizabeth Matthews said in a statement, “The way music is made and consumed has changed dramatically since the ASCAP and BMI consent decrees were implemented nearly eight decades ago. The time has come to modernize these decrees so we can move toward a more innovative, flexible, and competitive marketplace that is fair to both music creators and licensees."
For its part, BMI said in the introduction to its comments:
Both organizations advocate the following in a proposed transition from the existing consent decrees:
"The music industry, particularly music distribution, has consolidated, shifting the balance of power;
Are there differences between ASCAP/BMI and PROs that are not subject to the Consent Decrees that adversely affect competition?
Which ones and why? Are there provisions that are no longer necessary to protect competition? Do the Consent Decrees continue to serve important competitive purposes today? Are there provisions that are ineffective in protecting competition? Which ones and why? Why or why not?
"The music industry, DOJ and Congress agree we are in critical need of a licensing framework that promotes innovation and efficiency in a free market;

What, if any, modifications to the Consent Decrees would enhance competition and efficiency?
“ASCAP and BMI will continue to receive non-exclusive U.S. rights from our writers and publishers, which allows licensees, songwriters, composers and publishers to continue to negotiate direct deals if they so choose.
“BMI believes that the Decree has become an impediment to innovation and should be substantially modified, and ultimately terminated, to remove unnecessary restrictions that do not further a legitimate public interest and constrain BMI’s ability to best serve songwriters, composers, music publishers and music users. The Decree reflects an outdated model of antitrust enforcement by regulation. It imposes an inflexible contract structure and a judicial rate-setting process that are unresponsive to market needs, impede BMI (and other music industry participants) from adapting to changes in the marketplace, stifle innovation, and are unnecessary to preserve competition.
If so, should termination be immediate or should there instead be a sunset period? What, if any, modifications to the Consent Decrees would provide an efficient transitionary period before any decree termination? Would termination of the Consent Decrees serve the public interest?
"Technology has revolutionized music use, distribution, and licensing;
Hatch-Bob Goodlatte Music Modernization Act (MMA). “Retain the rate court process for resolution of rate disputes, as recently reformed by the Orrin G.
performing rights organizations, ASCAP and BMI, have been operating under separate consent decrees that govern how music is licensed by the two PROs (although not their competitors, SESAC and Global Music Rights). Since 1941, the two largest U.S. The consent decrees were designed to protect competition but nearly all involved parties agree that they have long become obsolete, particularly since the advent of the internet.
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Do differences between the two Consent Decrees adversely affect competition? How?
ASCAP’s primary points in its comments include:
“To help facilitate that orderly transition, and to protect both music creators and licensees alike, ASCAP and BMI are recommending four key provisions that would encompass newly formed decrees. Like all modern consent decrees, the new decrees would contain a sunset provision.
Removal of the consent decrees will not impede a functioning marketplace; "Without the outdated consent decrees, ASCAP and BMI will be able to better compete and innovate to benefit our songwriter members and licensing partners.
But music creators deserve to be compensated fairly for the use of their work. "PROs and licensees all have the same goal—to keep the music flowing to the public.
"To be effective, the regulatory system has to reflect the realities of today’s digital music marketplace;

Chris Ryan (Massapequa, NY, USA)
Harlan Hodges (Plainview, TX, USA)
Chris Forsgren (Stockholm, Sweden)
Clementine Charuel (Paris, France)
Mike MacLennan (Oxfordshire, UK)
Joep Sporck (Maastricht, NL)
The award is given to a French citizen who shows potential to make a true impact to the scoring community. Another ASCAP Film Scoring Workshop alum, award-winning film and television composer Didier Lean Rachou (Deadliest Catch, Gold Rush: Alaska), this year bestows for the first time the newly created ASCAP Foundation Lucy and Didier Lean Rachou Award to Workshop participant Clementine Charuel.
Alex Redfern (London, UK)
The workshop culminates at the historic Newman Scoring Stage at Fox Studios, where each composer has the chance to conduct and record their own original score for a major motion picture scene with a 64-piece orchestra and the same professional tools used by world-class composers.
Stefano Sacchi (Milan, Italy)” />
Shawn LeMone, SVP Membership, Film & TV, ASCAP, said: “It is always a pleasure to get to know the talented composers who take part in the Workshop. It is just one of the many ways ASCAP supports our members at every stage of their careers and we’re so proud of the composers that have gotten a leg up because of it.” Decades ago, ASCAP created the Workshop to give composers the support and connections they need to take their careers to that next level, whether scoring for major Hollywood films or leading independent projects.
Christy Carew (Vancouver, BC, Canada)
Carlos Simon (Atlanta, GA, USA)
Participants get access to "A list" Hollywood composers and top industry professionals including studio executives, agents, attorneys, music supervisors and more. Supported by The ASCAP Foundation, the comprehensive four-week program takes place in Los Angeles and is designed to equip the selected composers with the knowledge and connections they need to succeed in the film industry.
The 2019 participants are listed below along with their hometowns: Workshop participants were chosen from hundreds of applicants by a team of professional composers.
The Workshop is led and programmed by ASCAP Film & TV executives Michael Todd and Jennifer Harmon. This year, several high-profile composers will mentor the group, including Oscar nominees (and multiple Emmy winners) John Debney (pictured above; “Elf,” “Iron Man 2”) and Bruce Broughton (“Silverado,” “The Rescuers Down Under”), Grammy-nominated Tom Holkenborg (“Mad Max Fury Road,” “Deadpool”), as well as program alumni Amie Doherty (“Undone”), Julia Newmann (“Doubt”), Joseph Trapanese (“The Greatest Showman”) and Austin Wintory (“The Banner Saga” 1-3).
The 31st annual ASCAP Film Scoring Workshop got underway today with 12 composers from eight countries around the world. (Participants are listed below.)
Max Lombardo (Padova, Italy)
Sarah Lynch (Dublin, Ireland)

The reactions of the hundreds of music industry people affected range from disappointing head-shaking to downright furious. That's because everyone aside from the members works with both performing-rights organizations (PROs).
Each organization schedules its pop awards and film awards on back-to-back evenings, so that New York executives from both can attend, which further complicates the booking issue. BMI has its pop awards the night before the shared film/TV date, on May 14, while ASCAP's pop awards will go down the night after the screen kudos, May 16. "There were conversations at the highest level," said one executive (who spoke on background) about the foulup.
Longtime observers say this is the first time that the two big black-tie affairs have coincided. ASCAP will hold its annual shindig at the Beverly Hilton, while BMI will hold its party at the Regent Beverly Wilshire.
How could two major music organizations manage to tick off an entire community of music industry people?
Basically, nobody blinked. Privately, officials of both organizations are claiming they were first to book their respective venues and that it was impossible to move to a different date once they discovered the rival group had booked the same night.
And it's leaving the many would-be attendees who have to make a tough choice between the two humming an unhappy tune. ASCAP and BMI — the two largest performing-rights societies in the U.S., which represent the vast majority of film and TV composers and songwriters — will both hold their annual film-music awards dinners this Wednesday.
We will work with ASCAP to ensure that this doesn't happen again." Said BMI: "While it's unfortunate that there is an overlap in dates this year, we fully expect to have a terrific evening that celebrates our many talented composers and pays tribute to our special honorees.
This doesn't affect actual ASCAP and BMI members — those who will be honored that night at their respective ceremonies — as much as it does virtually everyone around them: their agents, managers, publicists, attorneys, studio executives, music contractors, music supervisors, music publishers and even members of the music press.
Another prominent member of the music community, who has multiple clients in both organizations, told Variety: "It seems that BMI has always held their dinner during this timeframe, so I’m not sure why ASCAP didn’t check this fact out before booking.
"What is a bit maddening to me is that it forces people to choose and also causes unnecessary confusion and bad blood at a time when the music industry is struggling a bit to be collegial towards composers, musicians and the employers we all must work alongside.
Said ASCAP: "We want the spotlight to be on all of the amazing composers being honored on May 15th so that they can experience one of the best nights of their lives as we come together to celebrate their stellar musical contributions to film, television and visual media before their peers."
We truly wish this were not the case, and we’re sensitive to the position this puts people in. That said, our dinner has always been about celebrating our talented family of composers and we are excited to do just that.” Doreen Ringer Ross, BMI's VP of creative for film, TV and visual media, conceded: “The overlap has certainly caused a conflict for the industry in that many will have to make a choice about which event they attend. Both ASCAP and BMI officials insisted that this would not happen again.
Contacted by Variety, each organization offered a terse prepared statement.
BMI is honoring composers Terence Blanchard and William Ross. ASCAP is honoring composers Michael Giacchino and Pinar Toprak, along with the songwriting team of Benj Pasek and Justin Paul. Dozens of other awards will be handed out to composers at both events.
"Choosing loyalty to one side or the other is something we shouldn’t need to be thinking about, i.e., which composers are more important, which agents should we see, etc. Sadly, many of us will loose the ability to share in our one night of the year that brings us all together despite our personal or professional allegiances."
That's really amazing."” /> The whole town is getting together to celebrate the people that compose it. ASCAP senior VP, film and TV music and new media Shawn LeMone put this positive spin on the dilemma: "We're hoping, in a way, that it will be an evening of the industry celebrating music for film, television and games.
As one prominent agent told Variety: “There are 364 alternate dates that would allow industry folks to support composers from both PROs. I'm surprised ASCAP and BMI couldn’t coordinate between themselves to figure it out.” Adds another disgruntled regular attendee of both events, "They're doing a disservice to their own members."

We would hope that any Collective designated by the Copyright Office will work with us to stand up their database quickly, rather than create one from scratch, which would invariably require more time, the unnecessary expenditure of a potentially significant amount of money, and added risk. Since that time, we have invested significant time and resources in integrating the mechanical rights data SESAC obtained from the NMPA into our existing performing rights database in order to create a unified data structure that incorporates both rights categories and which links those rights to individual sound recordings. You’re referring to the establishment of the mechanical licensing collective and the requirement that it create a publicly accessible mechanical rights database. We are close to finishing this process, which will place us in the best position to provide not just the mechanical picture, but a comprehensive copyright picture that integrates mechanical and performing rights information for US and global copyrights. We’ve also migrated the combined database to our cloud-based system. You’re right that it may eliminate the need for the database that ASCAP and BMI previously announced, depending on the approach that’s taken. SESAC purchased HFA from the National Music Publishers Association about two and half years ago. As we’ve seen in our MINT joint venture with SUISA, licensing outside the United States requires the integration of mechanical and performance rights information for multiple territories.
Sesac is more than just a PRO at this point. in 2016] and the acquisitions of HFA [the Harry Fox Agency, in 2015]. We’ve substantially broadened and expanded our business model with the addition of the CCLI [Christian Copyright Licensing Intl. We are active in mechanical as well as performing rights, and we are building a global licensing platform through our Mint Digital Licensing joint venture. We view ourselves as a music-rights organization, or MRO, rather than a PRO.
We take a selective approach to our affiliation activities and have a smaller affiliate base than our principal competitors, which we believe enables us to deliver a higher level of responsiveness and service. Unlike those organizations, we are not subject to a consent decree, so we license in a free market, which we believe enables us to achieve better outcomes. We are a for-profit entity and take a partnership approach with our affiliates in order to deliver better financial outcomes for them.
Unlike ASCAP and BMI, SESAC is for-profit?
It’s hard to overstate how important these two were to the evolution of SESAC. It took a lot of courage and vision on Neil’s part. They put us on the path we’ve followed over the ensuing 25-plus years. At the time, it was a tough sell as we had no established artists on our roster and practically nobody had ever heard of SESAC. Neil became an affiliate of SESAC in 1994. That’s true of Dylan, too, who joined the same year. It’s great to see that Neil will receive the recognition he deserves from the Songwriters Hall of Fame with the Johnny Mercer Award at this year’s induction ceremony.” />
As performance-rights organizations go, SESAC is a for-profit royalty collector, banking a strong position for chairman and CEO John Josephson, who joined in 2014 after a successful career in investment banking, a unique position as a champion of songwriters. Today, the 88-year-old org administers more than 400,000 copyrights including songs by Adele, Bob Dylan and 2018 Songwriters Hall of Fame Johnny Mercer Award honoree Neil Diamond. He knows the terrain intimately, having led a buyout of Sesac in 1994 while employed by Allen & Co.
It’s confirmation of the investment thesis that, following a number of challenging years, the music industry had reached a stable plateau from which it could grow on a sustainable basis. That has proved to be the case, [not just with] Blackstone’s investment in SESAC, but the successful Spotify IPO and the sale of Mubadala’s interest in EMI to Sony/ATV.
Have you had any discussions to get in on the joint ASCAP/BMI rights database?
How has SESAC adapted to the competitive new landscape?
What has Neil Diamond meant to your organization over the years?
What new areas of business look most promising in terms of expansion?
With a BA from Cornell and an MBA from Harvard, Josephson’s entrepreneurial adventures include co-founding the publishing company Downtown Music in 2005. Last year the company was purchased by the investment firm Blackstone for a figure reportedly in the $1 billion range, market validation for Josephson’s bullish view on the future of music rights. On the eve of the Songwriters Hall of Fame, Josephson reflects on where SESAC’s been and where it’s headed.
What do you think about the new Music Modernization Act? Might it eliminate the need for a joint ASCAP/BMI database, since Congress is now mandating a ‘Song Exchange’ for songwriters?
What does SESAC’s purchase by Blackstone for a reported $1 billion say about the value of music?
 We see so many areas of opportunity. and internationally. We’re focused on the continued growth of our domestic PRO, the roll-out of a global licensing platform through our MINT Digital Licensing joint venture with [Swiss authors’ rights society] SUISA and developing a robust set of licensing and administration services targeted at U.S. independent publishers. We view audiovisual music as under-monetized and see significant opportunities to generate better outcomes monetarily, particularly in digital markets in the U.S.
We are always open to partnering with others. We were approached by ASCAP and BMI about it and joined a meeting or two earlier this year.

The switch to a market-based rate standard for artists and writers, closing the pre-1972 loophole that denied digital compensation to legacy artists and the addition of copyright royalties for producers and engineers are other changes widely hailed as improvements by a wide range of industry organizations, from the Recording Academy and the RIAA to ASCAP, BMI, the American Association of Independent Music and the American Federation of Musicians. A key provision of the bill is for Congress to establish the equivalent of a SoundExchange for songwriters to track credits and distribute royalties when digital services use their work.
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The newly unified Music Modernization Act has been noticed by the House for markup on Wednesday. It combines proposals originally introduced in four separate bills: the Allocation for Music Producers (AMP) Act, the CLASSICS Act, the Fair Play Fair Pay Act, and a songwriter-specific version of the Music Modernization Act.
Testifying at a Congressional field hearing in New York City during Grammy Week, Recording Academy president Neil Portnow referenced “productive discussions” with broadcasters about radio performance royalties for artists. Then, as now, Portnow emphasized how “the lack of a radio performance royalty in the U.S. discredits our commitment to intellectual property.” At the field hearing Portnow further emphasized that the U.S. is “the only nation in the developed world where radio can use an artist’s work without permission or compensation.” Songwriters are paid for radio play. Portnow harkened back to 2014, when he was one of the first in the music industry to call for an end to the factionalized squabbling that had triggered internecine battles, urging unification around combined legislation.
“As part of the House Judiciary Committee’s copyright review we have worked with members and stakeholders to ensure that these laws are working in the digital age to reward creativity and protect the rights of authors, artists, and creators,” Goodlatte told Variety on the eve of the new bill’s introduction. The move is spearheaded by House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-VA). “Technology continues to rapidly advance [and] we must ensure that our copyright system can keep pace.
Senate support is led by Chuck Grassley (R-IA), Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Lamar Alexander (R-TN) and Orrin Hatch (R-UT). Goodlatte had previously introduced the Compensating Legacy Artists for their Songs, Service, and Important Contributions to Society, or “CLASSICS” Act, from which the new bill draws.
It appears to be on a fast track, with the Senate expected to introduce its version next month, paving the way for President Trump’s signature. Goodlatte has worked closely on the bipartisan effort with Judiciary Committe ranking democrat Jerrold Nadler of New York. Although the bill has bi-partisan support, the legislation’s provisions – which have advanced piecemeal in various bills over the past four years – have a free-market thrust popular with Republicans over the years, which means it is unlikely to meet with executive branch opposition.
“Much of the current licensing system was established in an analog song-by-song era using compulsory licenses first established in 1909,” he shared, demonstrating a depth of knowledge that only a small percentage of working members of the music community share. “In addition, artists who recorded works prior to 1972 do not receive any digital performance royalties under federal law, and current statute does not ensure that non-recording artists such as producers, sound engineers, and mixers receive revenue from webcasts of their work.”
Licensing reform for the 21st century music industry is expected to take a step forward Tuesday with the introduction of a new Music Modernization Act that combines key provisions of what were four separate legislative initiatives into a single bill that will update how music rates are set and how songwriters and artists are paid.
copyright law regarding music licensing,” said the chairman, who had previously announced he would retire at the end of this term, making the Music Modernization Act a legacy effort that has galvanized his supporters on the hill. Goodlatte, too, harkened back to the January field hearing, calling it a flash point for bipartisan consensus. “I am pleased the Committee will be moving a consensus bill designed to significantly update several key provisions of U.S.
One important provision that is not included is the Fair Play Fair Pay provision that would require songwriters be paid for songs played on broadcast radio, heretofore considered “promotional.” That provision – strongly opposed by the National Association of Broadcasters and championed by the Recording Academy – will presumably be addressed separately.