The American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers, or ASCAP, had been attempting to appeal to the Supreme Court an earlier ruling by an appeals court in New York that said a downloaded song constituted a public performance of the song under federal copyright law.
Attorneys for ASCAP were fighting to reverse that decision in hopes that they’d be able to collect additional royalties off of songs downloaded from the Web.
ASCAP had insisted that digital downloads were on par with public performances, which would thus allow copyright owners to receive compensation for each download. A federal judge and an appeals court had rejected that argument, however, and now the Supreme Court is also refusing to hear it.
According to the appeals court, “Music is neither recited, rendered, nor played when a recording (electronic or otherwise) is simply delivered to a potential listener.”
US Solicitor General Donald Verrilli agreed with the appeals ruling and that just because a song was transferred over the Internet did not mean that it was being performed, reports Reuters. More
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