Federal Court Sides With Yahoo In Music Royalty Case
September 29, 2010 at 4:23 AM (PT)
In a ruling that has the potential to affect many webcasters, a federal appeals court on TUESDAY threw out a lower court's method for determining music royalties, saying the calculations were flawed, reports THE LOS ANGELES TIMES. "The case involves a dispute over how much YAHOO INC. and REALNETWORKS INC. should have to pay the AMERICAN SOCIETY OF COMPOSERS, AUTHORS AND PUBLISHERS in royalties for the ability to stream music on their websites."
There's more to this ruling than the direct affect on YAHOO and REALNETWORKS, as its outcome could affect how much most sites and online services -- including AOL, YOUTUBE, PANDORA, SLACKER RADIO and others -- pay for the right to stream music.
"This will absolutely impact the royalty rates for all Internet radio companies and music streaming companies, as well as companies streaming any type of media with a musical component, including videos and games," RPG STRATEGIES principal JOHN POTTER told THE TIMES.
At issue is a district court’s decision in 2008 to set a 2.5% royalty rate for millions of songs owned by the 390,000 songwriters represented by ASCAP. REALNETWORKS and, in particular, YAHOO argued that the calculation was excessive.