The Dept. sends its own letter to the judge in charge of BMI's rate court.
In a letter to Judge Louis Stanton, who presides over the rate court that determines what performance rights organization (PRO) BMI can charge for various uses of its members' work, the U.S. Dept of Justice has responded to BMI’s challenge of its interpretation that the consent decree requires the performing rights organization to license songs on a "full-works" basis. The DoJ's letter aims to remind Stanton of all the places and times BMI has claimed its blanket license entitles a licensee to play any song in its catalog, including in his own courtroom. "Just five months ago, BMI told this Court that its licenses provide “immediate access to the more than 10.5 million works in BMI’s repertoire," according to the DOJ letter.
The letter refers back to BMI's initial request to the Dept. of Justice for amendments to the consent decree (an antitrust agreement that dictates how BMI can operate), in which the PRO acknowledged copyright law has followed “common real estate law," wherein the PRO was referring to a parallel between it and undivided tenancies in common real estate law. "Each [copyright] co-owner is free to make use of the entire property on an non-exclusive basis,” the BMI document read and which was included as an exhibit to the DoJ's letter to Stanton..