U.S. appeals court affirms district court decision that a download is not a performance under the Copyright Act
By Greg Tang – Edited by Ian C. Wildgoose Brown
United States v. Am. Soc’y of Composers, Authors & Publishers, No. 09-0539 (2d Cir. September 28, 2010)
On September 28, the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit affirmed the ruling of the Southern District of New York that a digital download of a song does not constitute a public performance under section 106(4) of the Copyright Act. The court also vacated the district court’s assessment of fees for the blanket licenses that Yahoo! Inc. and RealNetworks Inc. sought from The American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (“ASCAP”), and remanded for further proceedings.
The holding in this case prevents ASCAP from “double-dipping” by receiving compensation for both copies and performances of its members’ musical works. It also provides much needed clarification on how license fees should be calculated for music streamed over the Internet.
JOLT Digest previously reported on the district court’s ruling that cell phone ringtones do not constitute public performances. BroadbandBreakfast.com and Bloomberg Businessweek each provide an overview of the case. The 1709 Blog and Internet Cases examine the court’s reasoning in detail. (more…)