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ASCAP Streaming Rights Must Be Included
Pandora Media Inc. v. Am. Soc’y of Composers, Authors & Publishers, 785 F.3d 73, 114 U.S.P.Q.2d 1739 (2nd Cir. 2015). ASCAP, who collects royalties for owners of musical works, entered into a consent decree with the U.S. Department of Justice in 1941 to settle anti-trust assertions. The decree was updated in 2001 to require ASCAP to grant a license to perform all of the works in the ASCAP repertory, and to identify a reasonable fee. Beginning around 2010, certain ASCAP members were concerned that the royalty rates for online performances were too low, and sought to negotiate directly with online providers such as Pandora. Thus, ASCAP allowed members to withdraw “new media” licensing rights, which resulted in several large entities withdrawing such rights and negotiating directly with Pandora.
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