WSJ sources say U.S. Justice Department officials are considering overhauling two longstanding music licensing rules opponents say unfairly disadvantage artists and limit the ability of publishers to create own deals.
The rules involve the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers and the Broadcast Music, the dominant performance-rights organizations that license about 90% of U.S. music for songwriters and publishers. The groups administer public performance rights to music, and let businesses obtain blanket licenses covering large catalogs of music.
Supporters say the rules, which go back to 1941, created a stable marketplace for music licensing and changing the rules could disrupt the industry.
The Justice Department is expected to call for public input in the coming weeks.