Techs & Trends
ASCAP sues AT&T seeking royalties on ringtones heard in public
http://www.phonearena.com/htmls/ASCAP-sues-AT-T-seek ... »
ASCAP, the group that collects royalties for singers, songwriters and performers, has filed suit against AT&T claiming that the carrier should pay a royalty each time a ringtone, composed or performed by one of its' 350,000 members, is heard in public. The group says that a ringtone is a public performance.
Not so fast says the Electronic Frontier Foundation. The EFF claims that a ringtone heard in a restaurant "without any purpose of direct or indirect commercial advantage," is exempt from copyright law. The EFF goes on to complain that a court ruling in favor of ASCAP could raise consum
In a way, we have kind of created this situation by piracy, which was created by high costs of CDs, which in the end, was caused by the companies stealing from artists. If only there was a realistic way to bypass the companies... But sadly, they have the money to push artists much further, and that's where it gets us. :-(
That's like buying a CD, but that you have to pay every time you play it just because someone might be stalking you and listening through the window.
Moving to the handset would be an additional copy (wich you did not license seperately) and you still have the issue they are arguing wich is public performance when the ringtone is played in public. All you acomplished with complicating the issue further.
But granted a 20 sec clip of a ring tone is a bit much.
The royalty for the ringtone further includes the use of the ringtone, and even takes into account mechanical royalties for the possibility of it being transfered to different types of media.
I have no commercial value to my ringtone going off in public. It doesn't make me cool, or even special for that matter. Any idot with $2 can go get the same one.
Furthermore At&t already has fulfil...
Just like when a bar decides that it is going to have bands play in their establishment. If they are a band that does any performances of covers, They are required to pay BMI and ASCAP fees to cover the song writer royalties on your performance.
They are sueing to get paid AGAIN as in a broadcast royalty.
This is the same as the dude on the corner playing his iPod with external speakers. Is ASCAP going to sue apple next because iPods have the ability to be heard in public?
The problem with suing for more royalties is that ultimately it's not AT&T that's gonna pay for the fees. It's the end user... AKA me and you. AT&T (and other's in the industry) will just pass the buck. It happens in every business in every industry everyday.