Are ASCAP and BMI obsolete? Sony/ATV, arguably the world's #1 publishing company, seems to think so, and is preparing to pull out of both before the end of the year, according to reports surfacing yesterday. Sony/ATV head Martin Bandier had told members in July that he was considering such a move as a way to open direct negotiations with digital and broadcast outlets. But now it appears all but certain. The loss of one or more top publishers could cripple both ASCAP and BMI financially, and would likely lead to more defections. Bandier and many of his member songrwriters and...

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