Update On New Media Rights Withdrawal

On September 17, 2013, US District Judge Denise Cote issued a ruling granting Pandora's motion for summary judgment on one issue involved in the streaming music company's pending rate court proceeding with ASCAP. As a practical matter, Judge Cote's ruling means that the music of the major publishers who had previously withdrawn new media rights from ASCAP will remain under ASCAP's blanket license with Pandora for the period beginning January 1, 2011 and continuing for the term of the license for which Judge Cote will determine Pandora’s fees at trial this December. Any publishers who planned to withdraw new media rights from ASCAP will not be able to do so while Judge Cote’s ruling remains in effect.

ASCAP CEO John LoFrumento responded to Judge Cote’s ruling by saying:

"ASCAP's more than 470,000 songwriter, composer and music publisher members make their living creating the music without which Pandora would have no business. The Court’s decision to grant summary judgment on this matter has no impact on our fundamental position in this case that songwriters deserve fair pay for their hard work, an issue that the Court has not yet decided. ASCAP looks forward to the December 4th trial, where ASCAP will demonstrate the true value of songwriters’ and composers’ performance rights, a value that Pandora’s music streaming competitors have recognized by negotiating rather than litigating with creators of music."