Thursday, February 10, 2005

ASCAP Internet License Agreements

ASCAP Internet License Agreements

So I'm reviewing this a bit more, trying to make sense of what they've got in their agreement.

The "interactive 2.0" license specifically says it is "designed for sites and services that permit their users to select particular songs or pre-posted song programs, such as an album or set list. " Examples of this, to be more specific, are listed as:
1) Internet "jukebox"
2) Webcast of a concert with advance set list(s)
3) "Pay-per-play" or download of individual songs or albums

Now, it's number three that seems to apply specifically to us. But, where it seems to all fall apart is here (in the Interactive 2.0 License Agreement), in the limitations on license section, (6b):

"Nothing in this agreement grants you, or authorizes you to grant any user, or to anyone else, any right to reproduce, copy or distribute by any means, method or process whatsoever, any of the musical compositions licensed by this agreement, including, but not limited to, transferring or downloading any such musical compositiion to a computer hard drive, or otherwise copying the composition onto any other storage medium."

Now, that inherently seems contradictory to me. Is this saying it's giving me the right to give access to the songs, but not for the user to use them?

The other interesting part of this is the License Agreement starts out with the following:

"This is an experimental agreement which applies for its term only and is entered into without prejudice to any position you or we may take for any period subsequent to its termination."

What? So this is an experiment? How does that effect the validity of the whole agreement?

I'm not even getting into the specifics of licensing...tracking and reporting and the like. This looks like a huge ball of wax.

Are there any lawyers out there?


Anonymous Anonymous said...

To me it sounds like this could still work in blogs favor. 1- Pay Per Play.. streaming audio. 10cents a song. There is a website i use regularly where you can download a whole cd for 10cents a song. 256kpbs files. They pay the artist 8cents royalty and make 2cents per song and it really adds up. I cannot tell you exactly what type of royalty that is, but i am on a DOORS tribute album and i make 8cents per cd and the doors make 8cents per cd. So, basically you could sell anyones music online as long as they get that 8cents royalty per son.

Also - if you put on your sight 'for evaluation purposes only, please stream do not download' that might be enough in your favor. Or, you could find a little program that adds a code to the mp3 so that others can't download etc. If people find ways around it they do, but you did your part.

1:53 PM  
Blogger Phantom Poet said...

Hello. I read the 2.0 internet license agreement from ASCAP. The deal point that specifies that when you accept the agreement is a catch 22 phrase for the entire world of digital distribution. It really has nothing to do with you at all, unless you are a "Music User". Let's say "Sound of Literati" is being licensed by Apple iTunes, which it is; nothing inside that 2.0 agreement gives Steve Jobs the right to distribute Literati to let's say HP. HP has to get their own license to distribute any recording on Apple iTunes' software regardless of any partnership between the two companies. In a nutshell, everytime a "Music User" starts to syndicate through other third party entities the point of law of a new license develope based on total revenues and agreed upon percentages. Do you really think
superstars sell CDs--no my friend, they sell licenses. . .Witness the powerful experience of the spoken word Xplosion! Available now on MSN,MusicNow,Rhapsody,YahooMusic,
Emepe3,SonyConnect,AT&T Mmode,
DiscLogic,BuyMusic and more. . .

6:12 PM  
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