Oh dear, it seems a judge has made his displeasure rather clear after he found out a few of the dirty secrets the copyright tax cartel have been trying to use to milk a smallish company for revenues.http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20140323/07554026662/judge-highlights-bogus-collusion-ascap-publishers-rejecting-their-attempt-to-jack-up-pandoras-rates.shtml
Last month, we wrote about the rate court fight between ASCAP and Pandora as ASCAP attempted to massively increase Pandora's rates through moves that were quite clearly collusive. ASCAP had already lost an earlier ruling showing that it had violated its consent decree by letting publishers selectively remove certain works in order to force Pandora into paying much, much higher rates. However, the details of ASCAP and the publishers' deception became much clearer during the rate court battle. Last week, the judge handed ASCAP a huge loss, keeping the rate where it had been, at 1.85%, rather than jacking it up to ASCAP's requested 3%.
The key issue in this whole action was how ASCAP allowed publishers to selectively "withdraw" their rights from ASCAP and then effectively hold a gun to Pandora's head, saying that if Pandora didn't accept a new license directly with those publishers, it would be infringing (to make this work, the publishers also refused to even let Pandora know which songs had been withdrawn). ASCAP effectively encouraged this to happen, knowing that it could use this to jack up its own rates, even though, on its face, publishers withdrawing rights from ASCAP should be seen as bad for ASCAP. But withdrawing from ASCAP (even though ASCAP effectively encouraged it) is also bad for songwriters because the publishers aren't exactly good at paying songwriters (shocking), whereas at least ASCAP has some level of transparency. Even the judge highlighted the songwriters and publishers' interests here were not aligned, but ASCAP was still siding with the publishers.
I think its clear that once again the grant of a monopoly to the Copyright tax cartel is simply being abused time and again to defraud both the consumer and the artist simply to enrich these fat recording industry middlemen or "shylocks" as they in fact are , its a broken anti consumer system and continues to be abused as its such a juicy cash cow.