Court Determines ASCAP Rates for Yahoo, AOL, RealNetworks

  • Save

Yahoo, AOL, and RealNetworks must now pay ASCAP royalties potentially approaching $100 million, according to a federal court decision emerging Wednesday.

The decision, issued by the US District Court for the Southern District of New York, requires the companies to pay 2.5 percent of applicable streaming revenues to ASCAP between the years of 2002 and 2009.

Specifically, the revenues are tied to both on-demand and non-interactive streams.  “This historic decision, for the first time, provides a clear framework for how the online use of musical works should be appropriately valued,” said ASCAP chief executive John A. LoFrumento.

Terrestrial radio stations pay a 2 percent royalty, a lowered amount that takes advertising filler into account.  Rival performance royalty collections group BMI has already resolved a deal with the groups.  ASCAP represents more than 320,000 songwriter, composer and music publisher members, and is not tied into recording royalties.  Those are administered by SoundExchange, which currently collects separate royalties from all three companies.