Billboard is reporting that “Sony/ATV Music Publishing has instructed the Harry Fox Agency today to stop all future licensing of any of the publisher's repertoire for streaming or limited downloads.”
The move is in response to a Digital Media Association's motion filed yesterday with the Copyright Royalty Board (CRB) which argues that an interactive stream is not a digital phonorecord delivery (DPD) and should not have to be licensed for reproduction. Instead, it proposes, an interactive stream should only trigger a performance license from ASCAP, BMI or SESAC.
The music publisher’s mandate could impact services like RealNetwork's Rhapsody, Napster and MediaNet and raises an interesting issue: does a service that offers a streaming or limited downloads of a publisher's songs previously released on records intentionally infringe the publisher's copyrights. So Sony/ATV asked the Copyright Royalty Board to request the Copyright Office to issue a decision whether or not an interactive stream is a digital phonorecord delivery. If a stream is not a DPD, then digital services would not be required to obtain a DPD reproduction license under copyright law.
Digital Media Association member companies include American Online, Apple Computer, MediaNet, Napster, RealNetworks and Yahoo!.
Other major publishers are also expected to stop future licensing of the services.
Maaaaan, the sh*t is going down!
Billboard.com: Sony/ATV Stops Future Licensing of Digital Services