AOL, Real, Yahoo must pay millions in outstanding music royalties

June 2008


By Scott M. Fulton, III, BetaNews

The artists’ rights organization ASCAP will be receiving tens of millions in back royalties from 2006, from the leading Web radio broadcasters. But it’s much less than what it had proposed, and way less than what royalties groups wanted last year.


The CMU Daily adds:

A US District Court has ruled on a long running dispute between three of the US’s big net outfits – AOL, Real and Yahoo – and publishing rights body ASCAP, regarding how much the web firms should pay the collecting society for the rights to play songs on their online music services – now decided at 2.5% of “music-use-adjusted revenue” which could be according to US commentators a payment to ASCAP of a combined $100 million. ASCAP chief Marilyn Bergman says said “The Court’s finding represents a major step toward proper valuation of the music contributions of songwriters, composers and publishers to these types of online businesses – many of which have built much of their success on the foundation of the creative works of others. It is critical that these organisations share a reasonable portion of their sizable revenues with those of us whose content attracts audiences and, ultimately, helps to make their businesses viable. This decision will go a long way toward protecting the ability of songwriters and composers to be compensated fairly as the use of musical works online continues to grow”.

ASCAP’S Bill of Rights for Songwriters and Composers can be found at

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