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WinMX World :: Forum  |  Discussion  |  WinMx World News  |  Judge - "Cellphone Ringtones Are Not Concerts"

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Offline DaBees-Knees

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Judge - "Cellphone Ringtones Are Not Concerts"
« on: October 16, 2009, 05:29:48 pm »

Not p2p news, but interesting just the same.

A federal judge has dismissed the music industry contention that when a cellphone’s ringtone begins playing, copyright infringement starts happening since others can hear the song, essentially arguing that a mobile phone is a portable concert hall.

That argument meant that millions of mobile phone users were copyright scofflaws anytime anyone called them.

The American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers, known as ASCAP, was attempting to wring even more royalties from music lovers, who already pay ringtone royalties when they buy ringtones.  Additionally, ASCAP collects royalty payments for public performances of songs from venues as divergent as a summer camp and a stadium.

While ASCAP’s much-ridiculed argument in the case was a legal long shot, copyright chaos might have ensued had the royalty-collecting group actually prevailed.

“The ruling is an important victory for consumers, making it clear that playing music in public, when done without any commercial purpose, does not infringe copyright,” wrote Fred von Lohmann, a copyright attorney with the Electronic Frontier Foundation.

ASCAP was suing AT&T and Verizon in a New York federal court, seeking more revenue for its members.

But U.S. District Judge Denise Cote wrote Wednesday that “ASCAP has not shown any infringement of its members’ rights by the playing of ringtones in the public from Verizon’s customer’s telephones.”

The decision also set aside ASCAP’s arguments that it was entitled to double its royalties, from 24 cents to 48 cents, for the reproduction of a ringtone. The group, which represents artists and songwriters, claimed that the mobile phone carriers were publicly performing the song when it enabled the ringtone to be downloaded by a music fan.

“ASCAP has failed to raise a question of fact that the downloading of a ringtone from Verizon to a customer’s cellular telephone is a public performance of a musical work,” Cote ruled.

The silly season is well and truly upon us it would seem. Thank goodness for a judge with a little common sense.  8)

Offline Bluey_412

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Re: Judge - "Cellphone Ringtones Are Not Concerts"
« Reply #1 on: October 18, 2009, 02:37:41 am »
Didn't anyone tell you, Greed is Good?

Gordon Gecko says so...
What you think is important is rarely urgent
But what you think is Urgent is rarely important

Just remember that...

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