Pandora has spent more than a year in legal battles with music publishers over exactly what songs the online radio service has access to.
A federal judge in New York has ruled that Broadcast Music Inc., a performance rights organization, may allow its members to prevent their music from being licensed to Pandora. The Dec. 18 decision means that Pandora may soon lose access to music from publishers like Universal and BMG.
"The publishers are privileged to license, or not license, the performance of their compositions as they see fit. [Withdrawing their music from being licensed to Pandora is] well within their power as copyright holders." Judge Louis L. Stanton, U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York
The BMI ruling means that the performance rights organization's members may now withdraw their music from being licensed to Pandora. Neither BMI nor Pandora have publicly commented on the ruling, which was first released to the public Dec. 19.
Judge Denise Cote, of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, ruled Sept. 17 that the American Society of Composers, Authors & Publishers must continue to license its members' music to Pandora. The group was looking to sever its existing licensing agreement with Pandora.
The American Society of Composers, Authors & Publishers (ASCAP) has around 475,000 members including well-known acts like Katy Perry, Jay-Z (pictured here), and Aerosmith. Its primary function is to license members' music for public performance, including for play on radio.
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