“The Department of Justice (DOJ) has officially refused to change the roughly 80-year-old ASCAP and BMI consent decrees,” writes Dylan Smith in Saturday’s (1/16) Digital Music News. “The DOJ formally opened this latest inquiry … back in June of 2019…. BMI and ASCAP, longtime critics of the consent decrees, had … called on the DOJ to replace the measures ‘with newly formed decrees that would protect all parties.’ Other organizations … urged the Justice Department to maintain the consent decrees…. Makan Delrahim, assistant attorney general for the DOJ’s Antitrust Division, [said] ‘three essential points … should guide’ future efforts to reform the consent decrees. The first concerns the idea that ‘the ultimate goal [of reform initiatives] should be a market-based solution that ensures songwriters, publishers, and other artists are compensated fully.’ … The second point centers on assuring that songwriters and other rightsholders aren’t ‘shortchanged’ by the consent decrees…. Lastly, Delrahim said, ‘Compulsory licensing is not the answer.… Too often … songwriters, artists, and other rightsholders … have received the short end of the stick under compulsory licensing, necessitating reforms like the recent Music Modernization Act, by Congress.’ … Delrahim indicated that future BMI and ASCAP consent-decree reviews should occur every half decade.”