Feeds

Songwriters score victory over AOL, Yahoo! and Real

Pay up

3 Big data security analytics techniques

Songwriters could be as much as $100m better off after a court ruled they should be paid more money for online performances of their music.

A New York rate court determined what the foot-dragging license holders could afford to pay: Yahoo! has 18.7 per cent and AOL 9.1 per cent share of internet advertising revenue, worth around $5.56bn last year.

AOL, Yahoo! and Real were granted blanket licences by the member-owned American composers society ASCAP, but had failed to negotiate a rate successfully. The court heard evidence last autumn, and released its findings last night.

Yahoo! had reached an agreement with the four biggest RIAA members - but stalled when it came to paying the composers and songwriters.

ASCAP says its proposal is conservative: it couldn't calculate the value of background music, for example, or user generated content at AOL, because the company failed to provide figures. AOL also failed to supply Shoutcast listener hours.

"Because the benefits of a blanket licence exceed the value of the right to perform the music in the repertory, the blanket licence fee must reflect these extra benefits," the court observed.

The rate court concluded that ASCAP's revenue-based formula was reasonable but the fee rate was not. However, it noted that without music, many of these services would not exist: for example, Rhapsody and Music Choice.

It also noted that the revenues of Yahoo! and AOL were not too different to the revenues from the three major TV networks. And it agreed with ASCAP that the suggestion was conservative, and that many uses of music by the licencees was not calculated.

The court also noted tricks the services used to reduce their payments to songwriters: such as moving paid ads from the music player to a web page behind the player.

The three internet companies were ordered to pay 2.5 per cent of revenue minus traffic acquisition costs and other expenses, backdated to 2002.

ASCAP represents 295,000 members. ®

Top three mobile application threats

More from The Register

next story
Audio fans, prepare yourself for the Second Coming ... of Blu-ray
High Fidelity Pure Audio – is this what your ears have been waiting for?
Record labels sue Pandora over vintage song royalties
Companies want payout on recordings made before 1972
Zucker punched: Google gobbles Facebook-wooed Titan Aerospace
Up, up and away in my beautiful balloon flying broadband-bot
Apple DOMINATES the Valley, rakes in more profit than Google, HP, Intel, Cisco COMBINED
Cook & Co. also pay more taxes than those four worthies PLUS eBay and Oracle
Intel sees 'signs of improvement in the PC business' but earnings remain 'Meh...'
Prospects for the future, however, please Wall Street money men
What's a right pain in the ASCII for IBM? Its own leech-like hardware biz
Keep your eyes on our cloud while we remove this pesky thing, say execs
Oracle's Larry Ellison has the MOST MASSIVE PACKAGE IN PUBLIC
Billionaire IT baron earns twice as much as the next in line, Disney chief Bob Iger
prev story

Whitepapers

Mainstay ROI - Does application security pay?
In this whitepaper learn how you and your enterprise might benefit from better software security.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.