Pandora Media Inc, the biggest Internet radio service, sued the organization representing songwriters and composers to seek lower license fees for playing their songs.
Pandora, which is also lobbying the U.S. Congress for lower royalties on recordings, today asked a federal court in New York to set “reasonable” license fees from the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers through 2015.
Pandora is seeking a blanket licensing fee that would cover all songs represented by the 435,000-member group. The radio service has said the current fees prevent profitability. Ascap and Pandora reached an “experimental” fee agreement in 2005 that lasted until 2010. Terms of their current arrangement weren’t disclosed in the filing.
“The license rates and other material terms of the 2005 license agreement were presented to Pandora by Ascap as being effectively non-negotiable,” the company said in court papers. Pandora said the “experimental license agreement” it reached in 2005 for Internet sites and services “was ill-suited and not reasonable.”
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