Pandora Wins Summary Judgment in Rate Proceeding
Pandora announced that the federal court in the Southern District of New York has granted summary judgment in Pandora’s favor in the company’s rate proceeding with ASCAP. This judgment, according to Pandora, allows the company to use all compositions in the ASCAP repertory. "We welcome the court's decision," said Chris Harrison, Pandora’s Assistant General Counsel. “We hope this will put an end to the attempt by certain ASCAP-member publishers to unfairly and selectively withhold their catalogs from Pandora. Pandora continues to firmly believe that musicians must be fairly compensated for their work. We are committed to a responsible, sustainable and equitable royalty structure that benefits and grows the entire industry and does not discriminate against new technologies.”
Pandora filed a motion for summary judgment in July, seeking an interpretation of the consent decree under which ASCAP has operated since 1941. It asked the court to determine that selective withdrawals of so-called “new media” rights by ASCAP-member publishers could not be implemented against Pandora without violating the consent decree. The decision makes clear that Pandora is entitled to a blanket license the scope of which is not diminished in any manner by the publishers’ attempts to “withdraw” these rights from ASCAP. The ruling has no impact on the royalty rates Pandora currently pays to ASCAP.