NEW YORK, March 1, 2007 - The American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) yesterday filed a cross-motion in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York, asking the Court to confirm that all Internet transmissions of musical works to the public, including digital streams and downloads, are public performances - as the United States Copyright Law requires and Congress has stated.
Therefore, all digital streams and downloads should be subject to licensing by the creators and copyright owners of those works, through organizations like ASCAP which represent them.
ASCAP's position is consistent with its ongoing defense of the rights of its members and all music creators (songwriters, composers, lyricists and music publishers) to receive fair compensation for public performances of their copyrighted works - while also encouraging the widest possible legitimate use of music on the Internet, as well as by wireless devices and any other new media that may be developed in the future.
"The emergence of the digital world is dramatically reshaping the way music is purchased and enjoyed," said John LoFrumento, Chief Executive Officer, ASCAP. "We strongly believe that our members are entitled to be compensated for all Internet transmissions of their music to the public - including the public performance that is an essential part of a music download."
Established in 1914, ASCAP is the first and leading U.S. Performing Rights Organization representing the world's largest repertory totaling over 8 million copyrighted musical works of every style and genre from more than 275,000 composer, lyricist and music publisher members. ASCAP has representation arrangements with over 70 music rights organizations such that the ASCAP repertory is represented in nearly every country around the world. ASCAP protects the rights of its members and foreign affiliates by licensing the public performances of their copyrighted works and distributing royalties based upon surveyed performances. ASCAP is the only American Performing Rights Organization owned and governed by its writer and publisher members. www.ascap.com