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Judge: ringtones aren't performances, so no royalties

Oct 16, 2009, 23:02 (4 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Jacqui Cheng)

"If your cellphone has a musical ringtone, step back and appreciate it the next time a friend dials you—according to the American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers, you're listening to a performance. In the latest sign of just how confusing the music licensing system is, ASCAP is suing AT&T over the carrier's sale of musical ringtones, looking for a cut of the revenue—even though the carrier is already paying for the download rights to these tunes. In a recent filing unearthed by the Electronic Frontier Foundation, ASCAP says that download payments aren't enough because each ring constitutes a performance."

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