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Class Action Lawsuit Challenges ASCAP, BMI Arbitration Agreements, Says Entities Should be Audited

It all started in Family Court ....

A proposed class action lawsuit aims to challenge the theory that the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers—ASCAP—and Broadcast Music Inc.—BMI—owe no fiduciary duty to songwriters, arguing that the major music licensing fee and royalty processors should be audited and their mandatory arbitration agreements ruled void and unenforceable.

The plaintiffs, songwriter and producer Alexander C. Baker and the LLC of his music-driven animated entertainment entity called “Adam Bravery,” claim in the 57-page lawsuit that ASCAP and BMI, who under the federal Copyright Act fit the bill of 501(c)(3) non-profit “performing rights societies,” should be declared as state actors given the groups were long ago “found [to be] monopolists in federal antitrust litigation.”


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