MobiTV Court Victory Could Have Large Effect On Streaming Fees
Paige Schoknecht reports that MobiTV has won an important victory over ASCAP, the organization that collects license fees for music performance rights.
The decision was a complete victory for MobiTV, categorically rejecting ASCAP's proposed licensing structure, which would have resulted in hundreds of millions of dollars of fees to ASCAP from content distributors across the industry. The court adopted MobiTV's structure instead, which was based on ASCAP's cable television licensing framework. This resulted in license fees that were only a small fraction of what ASCAP sought.
Part of the significance of this case is that there are a number of other cases standing in line for resolution by the ASCAP "Rate Court," including cases involving major wireless carriers, operators of Internet content distribution services, and major cable television and broadcast television/radio entities; it is likely that the MobiTV decision will have implications in relation to many of those cases.
Kenny Steinthal of the San Francisco office of Greenberg Traurig was the lead attorney for MobiTV.