US Supreme Courts says music downloads are not public performances
When it comes to the online world and music you got to admit the music industry trade groups like RIAA and ASCAP are tenacious, stupid but tenacious.
Recently ASCAP has been trying to convince the courts that streaming or downloading of music from digital music lockers like Yahoo and Rhapsody constituted a “public performance” and as such companies like these needed to pay an extra licencing fee meant to go to the songwriters.
In the first decision by a district court ASCAP came out the winner as the court also came up with an extremely convoluted formula that involved all the revenue from the offending companies. This meant that companies like Yahoo would have had to pay some of its search revenue to ASCAP – explain that one.
Lucky for Yahoo and Rhapsody an appeals court overturned the ruling and in the process noted that a download does not constitute a public performance. Well obviously ASCAP wasn’t overly happy with the decision and appealed to the US Supreme Court.
It was announced today that the Supreme Court will not hear the case which means that the lower appeal court’s decision will stand and ASCAP can go back home with its tail tucked between its legs.
Finally some sense from the courts on what should have been common sense to begin with.