Billboard, as part of an article on Apple negotiations for a webcast service, sheds more light on music publisher Sony/ATV's announcement to pull out of ASCAP and BMI (we covered this in RAIN here).
[Note: this story regards digital music services' use of the composition right of a song; not the copyright sound recording.]
Digital services (new ones immediately, others when current deals expire) will have to negotiate with Sony/ATV (which now also owns EMI Music Publishing) and will no longer be able to rely on the "compulsory" license to use compositions and simply pay ASCAP or BMI the going rate.
Sony/ATV (and EMI) represents hundreds of thousands of songs.
"'All we are seeking is a fair and reasonable royalty for the writers and ourselves for digital performances,' Sony/ATV chairman/CEO Martin Bandier told Billboard.biz. 'We think the songwriter is just as important as the master recording and should get a fair price.'"
The "master recording" is the sound recording, for which webcasters pay a far higher percentage of their revenue than other forms of radio, and (for now) for other royalties.
Billboard reports Sony/ATV is pulling its digital performance rights, including EMI, from BMI and ASCAP on January 1, 2013. Apparently, Sony/ATV is not pulling its digital rights from SESAC, which is not under the "government consent decree" and "sometimes has greater flexibility in rate negotiations than BMI or ASCAP."
Read Billboard.biz here.