Feeds

Pandora sues publishers over online music royalties

Says ASCAP is being unreasonable on rates

High performance access to file storage

Internet radio station Pandora has gone to court to try and get a better royalty deal from the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP.)

ASCAP has over 435,000 members, ranging from the biggest music publishers to individual troubadours, and Pandora had a license with them from 2005 to 2010. But over a year of negotiations over new royalty rates have come to naught, and so Pandora is heading into court to get what it thinks is a fair deal.

Pandora argues that the current royalty rates it is being charged are unfair and are stopping it from reaching profitability. Court documents note that ASCAP has already concluded deals with similar internet radio operations, but is refusing to give Pandora the same kind of royalty rates.

"It's outrageous Pandora would try to reduce the already nominal amount they pay songwriters and music publishers, when Pandora's business model is based entirely on the creative contributions of those songwriters," said David Israelite, president of the National Music Publishers' Association (NMPA). "To file this suit at the same time that Pandora's founders are pocketing millions for themselves adds insult to injury."

That last dig seems to be directed at cofounder of Pandora Tim Westergren, who has been steadily selling his shares in the internet radio station at the rate of around $1m per month. As El Reg has pointed out, this hardly fills one with confidence about his view of the long-term viability of the company.

A lot depends on the Pandora-sponsored Internet Radio Fairness Act – IRFA (H.R. 6480/S. 3609) – which seeks to cut the amount of royalties paid to musicians by 85 per cent, as well as reducing the rights of musicians to bargain collectively for royalties to their works. ®

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Sorry London, Europe's top tech city is Munich
New 'Atlas of ICT Activity' finds innovation isn't happening at Silicon Roundabout
MtGox chief Karpelès refuses to come to US for g-men's grilling
Bitcoin baron says he needs another lawyer for FinCEN chat
Dropbox defends fantastically badly timed Condoleezza Rice appointment
'Nothing is going to change with Dr. Rice's appointment,' file sharer promises
Audio fans, prepare yourself for the Second Coming ... of Blu-ray
High Fidelity Pure Audio – is this what your ears have been waiting for?
Did a date calculation bug just cost hard-up Co-op Bank £110m?
And just when Brit banking org needs £400m to stay afloat
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
It may be ILLEGAL to run Heartbleed health checks – IT lawyer
Do the right thing, earn up to 10 years in clink
prev story

Whitepapers

Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
HP ArcSight ESM solution helps Finansbank
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.
Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.