Pandora Wins In Court Against ASCAP
May 6, 2015 at 11:29 AM (PT)
REUTERS reports, "a federal appeals court in MANHATTAN rejected appeals by a music licensing group and music publishers that could have forced Internet radio service PANDORA MEDIA INC to pay higher royalties and have access to fewer songs."
The ruling came earlier TODAY (5/6) from the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. ASCAP had sought to up the royalty rate that PANDORA pays to license music.
The report also notes the Judge, "said rules governing ASCAP licensing 'unambiguously' barred music publishers from negotiating higher rates for their works with 'new media' music users such as PANDORA, even as ASCAP licensed the same works to other users."
It's PANDORA's second legal victory this week. The webcaster on MONDAY (NET NEWS 5/4) got a positive ruling from the FCC, which issued a declaratory ruling that granted PANDORA RADIO a conditional right to exceed the Commission's foreign ownership restrictions to allow it to complete its two-year-old pending deal to buy Hot AC KXMZ (HITS 102.7)/BOX ELDER-RAPID CITY, SD from CONNOISSEUR MEDIA for $600,000.
Reacting to the ruling, ASCAP CEO ELIZABETH MATTHEWS issued the following statement:
“This ruling reaffirms what we already know –- that the ASCAP Consent Decree and the rules that govern music licensing are outdated and completely out of step with the way people listen to music today. We are encouraged that the DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE is reviewing the ASCAP Consent Decree and by the growing chorus of voices in support of our efforts to modernize music licensing –- from the COPYRIGHT OFFICE to Congressional sponsors of the SONGWRITER EQUITY ACT. Powerful corporate interests, like PANDORA, are determined to stand in the way of meaningful music licensing reform so that they may continue to shortchange songwriters. This is a wake-up call for creators to stand together, get involved and fight for their right to be paid a fair market rate for the use of their works.”