DiMA Argues Fair-Use Over 30-Second Clip Debate

The debate over whether online music stores should pay royalties on 30-second clips has been a hot topic for years, and music providers are predictably pushing for royalty-free use.  On Friday, the Digital Media Association (DiMA) and the National Association of Recording Merchandisers (NARM) asked a federal court to reject arguments for compensation on 30-second preview streams, according to Digital Music News.

The amicus brief pertains to an underlying case pitting ASCAP against AT&T Wireless, which is pushing back against royalty demands on thirty-second ringtone and ringback tone previews.  The brief extends the argument into online channels.  “DiMA members pay tens of millions of dollars in royalties to songwriters and publishers for online music sales,” stated trade group executive director Jonathan Potter.  “If ASCAP succeeds in pressing its demand for a new payment for these previews, internet music retailers would be disadvantaged simply because they are selling online, and songwriters and music publishers would be getting a royalty for the preview on top of the appropriate and well-deserved royalty that is paid when the music itself is sold.”