The American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers (ASCAP) is one of the two largest Performance Rights Organizations (PROs) in the country. Boasting a repertoire of over 10 million musical compositions from over half a million members, ASCAP can now also boast that it is the first PRO to make “licensable share data” readily available to the public. Recent litigation battles between ASCAP and Pandora over licensing rates have highlighted the need for greater transparency in the realm of public performance rights. In response, ASCAP recently announced new improvements to its online “ACE Database.” New information in the Database indicates “what percentage of fractional shares to each copyrighted musical composition” is under ASCAP’s “control.” ASCAP asserts that this newly available data will help support “fair market value payments” to their songwriters and publishing members. ASCAP’s CEO Elizabeth Matthews vocalized her support for the change, saying, “If public performance rights societies are going to survive and thrive in a global music economy driven by data, then we must be willing to be fully transparent regarding what shares of songs we are licensing.”
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