American Beverage Licensees Executive Director John Bodnovich Statement on the DOJ Reaffirmation of Consent Decrees Governing ASCAP and BMI

BETHESDA, MD – American Beverage Licensees (ABL) Executive Director John Bodnovich issued the following statement regarding the Department of Justice Antitrust Division’s review of proposed modifications to antitrust consent decrees governing performing rights organizations ASCAP and BMI.

“Beverage licensees are pleased that the Department of Justice (DOJ), following an exhaustive multi-year review, has arrived at a commonsense conclusion to keep in place the consent decrees that are designed to prevent additional antitrust violations by ASCAP and BMI. It is clear that DOJ has given this issue the utmost consideration and ABL thanks the DOJ staff for their hard work and attention to this important matter.

“ABL also welcomes DOJ’s confirmation of ‘full-work’ licensing, which means that the blanket licenses offered by Performing Rights Organization’s (PRO’s) provide licensees with the right to use all the works in that PRO’s repertoire without risk of copyright infringement.  This reaffirms what licensees have long understood based on the contracts they have entered into with ASCAP and BMI.

“The DOJ review will help beverage licensees better understand how the music marketplace is supposed to work.  Tens of thousands of bars, taverns and other hospitality businesses seek to make informed business decisions about music licensing, just as they do in all other aspects of their business.  They know that fairness and transparency will lead to a music ecosystem that benefits consumers, venues and artists.”


American Beverage Licensees is the preeminent national trade association for beverage alcohol retailers. Direct retail beverage alcohol sales in the United States generate as many as 1.77 million well-paying jobs. ABL’s thousands of on-premise and off-premise licensee members are independent and often family-owned establishments.  The beverage retailing industry pays over $19.3 billion in federal taxes and $16.9 billion in state and local taxes. To learn more about ABL, visit