In the music industry, everybody is out for money these days. The artists want their fair share, and so the RIAA is out to make sure that they do, In addition to the artists are the composers and songwriters who want their fair share of money as well, and so the ASCAP is out to make sure that they do. As we’ve seen in the past, often times the legal system is involved when an organization like the RIAA feels that artists haven’t been paid like they should be. One of the latest instances in the music industry involves the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) who requested that AOL, Real Networks, and Yahoo pay-up to compensate the authors and composers of music streamed from those sites. The judge ruled in their (the ASCAP’s) favor and now the aforementioned companies will be required to pay $100 million.
As you can imagine, the ASCAP is very happy by the judge’s ruling, and their chief executive John LoFrumento said, “The court’s decision is a victory for songwriters, composers, and publishers, and something they have been looking forward to for a long period.” AOL, Real Networks, and Yahoo haven’t given in quite yet, they plan to fight this one. The interesting part is that the money they would have to pay is what the ASCAP says is owed from all the way back between 2002 and now.
So what does this mean for consumers? Well, News.com speculates that this means companies like Yahoo would have to raise their prices on music in order to be able to have enough money to pay the music industry as they want to be paid. They say, “If the final fee structure looks anything like what is prescribed in the judge’s written opinion, RealNetworks, Yahoo, and AOL would likely have to raise prices. It may also mean that the cost of doing business for anyone streaming music over the Web just went up.” At the end of the day, consumers lose.
Thanks for tip Omar!