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Court Determines ASCAP Rates for Yahoo, AOL, RealNetworks

Historic Decision Provides Framework for Valuing Use of Musical Works Online

Also Validates Need to Appropriately Compensate Songwriters &
Composers for Role Their Works Play in Success of Online Businesses


Yahoo, AOL, and RealNetworks must now pay ASCAP royalties potentially approaching $100 million, according to a federal court decision emerging Wednesday.  The decision, issued by the US District Court for the Southern District of New York, requires the companies to pay 2.5 percent of applicable streaming revenues to ASCAP between the years of 2002 and 2009. 

ASCAP Rate Court Decision


Specifically, the revenues are tied to both on-demand and non-interactive streams.  "This historic decision, for the first time, provides a clear framework for how the online use of musical works should be appropriately valued," said ASCAP chief executive John A. LoFrumento.

Terrestrial radio stations pay a 2 percent royalty, a lowered amount that takes advertising filler into account.  Rival performance royalty collections group BMI has already resolved a deal with the groups.  ASCAP represents more than 320,000 songwriter, composer and music publisher members.

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