ASCAP Royalty For Mobile Devices Affirmed By 2d Cir.

ASCAP v. MobiTV et al., Docket Nos. 10-3161-cv(L) (2d Cir. May 22, 2012).

This  appeal  concerns determination  of  the  proper  royalty  that ASCAP is  entitled to  receive  for  a  blanket  public performance license for music in the ASCAP repertory that is embodied in  television  and  radio  content  to  be  delivered  to  viewers  and listeners using mobile telephones.

When the parties could not agree on a price for the performance rights to the music component of Mobi’s offerings, ASCAP sought a reasonable rate in the District Court for the Southern District of New York, acting as a rate court pursuant to  a  consent  decree.  Following  a  bench  trial,  the  District  Court
(Denise  Cote,  District  Judge)  issued  a  judgment  on  July  7,  2010, establishing various royalty rates, depending on the nature of the programming, and designating the revenue bases to which those rates apply. See  In re Application  of MobiTV, Inc.,  712  F. Supp.  2d  206 (S.D.N.Y.  2010).  ASCAP  appealed,  contending  that  the District Court’s rate formulation should have been based on the retail
revenues  received  by  the  wireless  carriers  from  sales  to  their customers, rather than the content providers’ wholesale revenues paid by Mobi.  The Second Circuit disagreed with ASCAP and AFFIRMED.