SCL Issues Statement on Potential Sale of BMI


We’re sure that many of you are following the news of BMI’s potential sale to a private equity firm. Though the sale is not final it requires comment. BMI is one of the largest Performing Rights Organizations in the world, and while it collects performance royalties on behalf of many SCL members, such a sale will impact the entire music ecosystem and consequently all music creators.

The impending transfer of ownership is very real and, unfortunately, we believe there is a degree of unsubstantiated rumor and supposition circulating due to the lack of clarity on BMI’s part which is causing speculation and concern. We strongly urge BMI to rectify this. In the meantime, the SCL will continue its independent research, both domestically and internationally, to help safeguard that the advantages to the few are not at the expense of the many. 

The consent decrees that govern both ASCAP and BMI were introduced over 80 years ago to ensure fair competition in the market for the consumer, and equitable compensation for the creators and copyright holders. The Department of Justice recently reviewed those decrees to determine whether they should be revised, eliminated, or maintained. The decision was to keep the status quo, so any change to BMI’s business model deserves scrutiny. 

With due respect to the parties involved, the SCL believes that BMI has an obligation to its affiliates, and the greater music community, to provide more transparency and alleviate the anxiety and uncertainty that currently exists.  

The SCL Board of Directors