Apple royalty skirmish ends in stalemate
iTunes shutdown threats no more
Apple's fight against paying songwriters has ended in a stalemate today.
The US Copyright Royalty Board rejected raising online royalty rates for song publishers — effectively ending Apple's threats that it would shut down iTunes if the song composer share was increased from 9 cents per song to 15 cents.
The rate has now been frozen at 9.1 cents per download for the next five years. CRB also established for the fist time a royalty rate for ringtone purchases at 24 cents per purchase.
Apple, along with the Digital Media Association (DiMA) and Recording Industry Ass. of America (RIAA) had been pushing for a reduction to only 4.8 cents a track, or 6 per cent of "applicable revenues."
Apple pays about 70 cents on the dollar to record labels, which in turn pays 9 cents to music publishers who hold the copyright for the music.
Although Apple has overtaken Wal-Mart as the top US music retailer this year, the company claims profits from music downloads are slim.
Happy not have lost their shirts to a pro-Apple decision, the National Music Publishers Association said the ruling was a positive for songwriters and music publishers.
These events will bring clarity and order to an environment that for the past decade has been hampered by litigation and uncertainty on all sides," said NMPA chief, David Israelite in a statement.
The sentiment seems to be consistent across the table.
"We're pleased with with CRB's decision to keep royalty rates stable," Apple wrote in a statement. ®
@ Sean - get your facts right
"Why artists continue to grant online publishing rights to their labels I have no idea"
Artists sign publishing deals with - hey, you may have heard of them - publishers. Often before they have signed a label deal.
If an artist signs a deal with a big publisher that is also owner by a label, it's because they think they're going to get the best return possible. What's wrong with that?
"The story is about the Record Labels wanting to soak up even more $s for doing the same fuck all that they do in the case of digital music."
Not this story.
The Copyright Tribunal case was being argued by the publishers, for the separate copyright of public performance. Do you know the difference, or do you just get your "facts" from Boing Boing?
Apple saw its chance to lower costs by f*cking over songwriters. And you sided with the people who want to f*ck over songwriters.
You're a real hero. Give yourself a medal.
Hmmm , the big four record labels will not be very happy about paying out all that lovely lolly about the ring tones which previously got mysteriously reassigned as general revenue , so it is a good win indeed.