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Supreme Court Denies ASCAP Appeal

Court maintains digital downloads are not performances

ascap supreme court

Paul Williams president/chairman of the board of ASCAP speaks during the Rhythm and Soul Music Awards.

Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images

The United States Supreme Court has declined to hear an appeal from the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers regarding a case in which it was determined that the download of a musical work does not qualify as a public performance. ASCAP lost the case in September of last year, but the performing rights organization had hoped to overturn the ruling in order for its clients to get a cut of a significant revenue stream from digital downloads.

Photos: Random Notes
According to the court’s ruling, “music is neither recited, rendered, nor played when a record (electronic or otherwise) is simply delivered to a potential listener.”


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