A New York court ruled yesterday that digital music downloads in the form of videos or music files are not subject to performance royalties.
This ruling was part of a copyright law dispute involving The American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) against AOL, Yahoo and RealNetworks.
The court ruling explained in 5 bite-size points:
- Songwriters and publishers normally get 9.1 cents for each song sold via digital download, such as from the iTunes Store.
- In addition to this ASCAP is arguing that songwriters and publishers should also receive an additional performance royalty. This would equate to about 3 percent of the cost of every digital download.
- Performance royalties are normally paid for public performances. This includes radio broadcasts, music and music videos played in a bar, music in nightclubs, TV broadcasts etc.
- The New York court ruled that this performance royalty was not applicable for digital online downloads.
- In other words a court believes that a digital download is like buying a DVD to own and is not a public performance.
All this makes perfect sense to me and I agree with the ruling.
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