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MUSIC PUBLISHERS GROUP CALLS PANDORA ROYALTY SUIT ‘OUTRAGEOUS’

(The following is a reformatted version of a press release
issued by the National Music Publishers’ Association and
received via e-mail. The release was confirmed by the sender.) 
November 6, 2012 
Songwriters and Music Publishers Call Foul on Pandora’s Efforts
to Further Lower Songwriter Compensation 
WASHINGTON -- After months of aggressive lobbying for Congress
to lower the rates it pays record labels and artists, Internet
radio provider, Pandora, yesterday filed a lawsuit asking U.S.
District Court for the Southern District of New York to lower
what it pays songwriters and music publishers - currently only
four percent of Pandora’s total revenue. 
 “It’s outrageous Pandora would try to reduce the already
nominal amount they pay songwriters and music publishers, when
Pandora’s business model is based entirely on the creative
contributions of those songwriters,” said David Israelite,
president and CEO of the NMPA.  “To file this suit at the same
time that Pandora’s founders are pocketing millions for
themselves adds insult to injury.” 
Pandora’s lawsuit seeks a blanket license fee that would permit
Pandora to play all ASCAP songwriter songs on its music service
at rates below what Pandora is currently paying.  Related
federal legislation introduced in September would change how the
U.S. Copyright Royalty Board calculates the rate Internet radio
services must pay, substantially lowering the rate Pandora pays
to artists.  Congressional hearings on the topic are slated for
late this month. 
Continued Israelite, “Royalty rates should protect songwriters
and compensate them for their significant contribution to the
success of music services like Pandora. As this area of the
market grows, we need to ensure that songwriters are protected,
and that they are appropriately compensated for their work.” 
In 2011, Pandora reported revenue of $338 million with a market
cap of nearly $1.6 billion. Pandora currently pays songwriters
and music publishers a smaller percentage of music royalties
than any other digital music service. 
About the NMPA 
Celebrating its 95th year, the National Music Publishers’
Association (NMPA) is the trade association representing
American music publishers and their songwriting partners. The
NMPA’s mandate is to protect and advance the interests of music
publishers and songwriters in matters relating to the domestic
and global protection of music copyrights. 
(sgp) NY 
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