Sony Moves To Stop All Future Licensing Of Digital Media

Sony Moves To Stop All Future Licensing Of Digital Media

Although Digital sales are rising every day and breaking records every time their numbers are posted, like Flo Rida’s recent chart topper, the industry doesn’t seem to be embracing the news that well.

Billboard is reporting that Sony Music Publishing moved to stop all future licensing of any of the publisher's repertoire for streaming or limited downloads. This will impact services like Rhapsody, Napster and MediaNet (formerly known as MusicNet). It also raises the question of whether a service that offers a stream or a download released on records after today would be intentionally infringing the publisher's copyrights.

Sony made the move in response to the Digital Media Assn.'s motion filed yesterday with the Copyright Royalty Board. In the motion, DiMA argues that an interactive stream is not a digital phonorecord delivery (DPD) and, therefore, should not have to be licensed for reproduction.

Sony says that the publisher sees DiMA's move as "underhanded." As previously reported, many digital services have entered agreements with HFA since 2001 promising to pay for the right to reproduce compositions transmitted via interactive streams and limited downloads (offered by subscription services) when rates were set — and to pay them retroactively. Other major publishers are also expected to stop future licensing of the services.

DiMA member companies include American Online, Apple Computer, MediaNet,
Napster, RealNetworks and Yahoo!.

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