Radio people know all about it. When a song is played on the radio – a public “performance” of music by an artist – that artist is entitled to a performance royalty. The artist gets paid a penny or two for each “performance” of their song and really, that’s the way most bands get paid, as their albums almost never really clear the cost of production.
But now ASCAP – the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers – wants to extend those same rights onto download sites like iTunes, Amazon and others. As the article below discusses, that idea has been scuttled by a lower Federal court and now the SCOTUS refuses to hear the case. Don’t think this will be the end of it, though.
Here’s the thing: its hard to imagine how buying a single MP3 differs from buying a CD, the process of which does not involve paying performance royalties. Spotify? Pandora? They probably should be paying performance royalties – I have no idea if they do.