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Tuesday, February 08, 2005

ASCAP For Podcasters

Ken Kozlowski writes:

ASCAP Offers Licenses to Podcasters
The American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers is offering a license to podcasters for musical performance rights on their shows. If you don't know what podcasting is, check out the info at iPodder. The license allows one to play ASCAP songs on a podcast in segments not to exceed 60 seconds for a price of $250 per year for individuals who are not realizing any income from the podcasts. There are other license categories for those with some type of revenue stream. This is a big development, and those interested in this should check out the license agreement at the ASCAP site.

He's right, this is a big deal. I'm not sure it definitively answers the question of whether podcasts are the equivalent of Internet radio for copyright and licensing purposes, but it tells you how ASCAP feels about the subject. For $250 a year, many podcasters will probably pay the fee just for the comfort level (but ASCAP isn't the only consideration; see Bret Fausett, How to Podcast RIAA Music Under License). For those running ads or charging subscription fees, it will be interesting to see if the economics make this such a no-brainer; in other words, their fees may be high enough to prompt someone to go to the mat on the issue.

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