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ASCAP and Ringtones: Your Ringtone Might be a Public Performance



Wow. These kind of stories never cease to amaze me. ASCAP is trying to make a claim that a ringtone on your phone that could conceivably be heard in public could qualify as a public performance. If true, that would mean a royalty would be due according to ASCAP.

ASCAP isn’t foolish enough to go directly after consumers on this (well at least not yet), but instead is targeting carriers (you know the lineup.) This is different than the shenanigans that revolve around the licensing and purchase of a ringtone. The premise for going after the carriers is that there is a potential that someone might have a ringtone played in a public place. Amazing.

Via TechDirt



  1. SAM

    06/22/2009 at 11:03 am

    Can they triple tax the really annoying ringtones played in public?

  2. Xavier Lanier

    06/22/2009 at 11:22 am

    Sad to say, but this actually doesn’t surprise me. I remember reading about a musician/composer that got sued for playing music in a bar. The rub is that he wrote all of the music…the bar didn’t want to deal with the mess and canceled all live music.

  3. HG

    06/23/2009 at 11:02 pm

    So I guess that if your playing music in your car and its load enough for someone outside can hear it. Then I guess this also would be considered as public performance.

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