Thursday, 15 October 2009

More asinine demands from ASCAP - Ringtones!

Not content with trying to get royalty payments from the 30 second song samples that many of us use to decide if a song is worth buying, now ASCAP (or should that be "ass cap") is suing American phone provider AT&T over ringtone revenue, according to Ars Technica.

Note that it's not the RIAA donning the dunce cap in this case!

The reason for the ASCAP lawsuit? Apparently everytime a ringtone goes off and someone wants to kill the phone owner for having the worst song on earth as a ringtone, that ringtone is a public performance and requires a royalty payment.

Just when you thought the barrel couldn't be scraped any further.

Now I really don't understand why it's only AT&T who are "at fault" here, but that's not really the point. The annoying 10 second loop of whatever "song" some 15 year old downloaded is a) not a public performance of any merit and b) not controlled by a phone company. Not unless they start making our phones ring... which would answer the question Deacon Blue once posed.

EFF's Fred von Lohman expands the crazy demands from ASCAP to a more natural conclusion, "if a ringtone constitutes a public performance, then so does playing the car radio when the windows are down."

It does look like the American legal system is siding with common sense on this as Verizon were recently cleared of any royalty wrong doings as well.

I guess ASCAP are going to have to continue to put their faith in whatever brainless moron is driving their current "new income" initiative. Maybe suing people who whistle for royalty payments?

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