Court Rules for MobiTV in Fee Case

The United States 5th District Court in New York handed down a ruling today regarding the licensing rates and terms that may be charged for streaming television and radio content to mobile devices.

In US v. ASCAP, music performance rights publisher ASCAP sued MobiTV a company that provides methods for delivering media over wireless and broadband networks. It asserted that, after the company would not assent to its proposed rate structure, MobiTV subsequently owed ASCAP $41.3 million.

Judge Denise Cote thought not and ruled so. The decision forced ASCAP to levy fees based on its cable licensing framework instead of the new, and higher, structure it was proposing.

The precedent in this case is likely to influence others involving Internet companies, wireless carriers, cable and broadcast television and radio. In a sense, it is the precedence of precedents. The format for assessing these fees is already in place and the need to create new, more expensive and more complex ones may be a need the court does not recognize.

Thanks to Paige Schoknecht at Prequent and Greenberg Traurig for the tip

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