Pandora Sues Ascap Demanding ‘Reasonable’ Songwriter Fees

Internet Radio giant Pandora has sued the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers demanding “reasonable” license fees.

Pandora, the most well-known and largest Internet radio provider, says Ascap’s current fees prevent profitability, and it asked a New York federal court to set new fees through 2015.

Bloomberg reports that Pandora and Ascap had an “experimental” fee agreement from 2005 to 2010 but their current arrangement is undisclosed. Pandora is calling the experimental agreement “ill-suited and not reasonable.”

Furthermore, Bloomberg reports that Pandora’s suit complains that Ascap gave a sweeter deal to a Pandora competitor:

This year Ascap negotiated a fee agreement with the Radio Music Licensing Committee, which represents large broadcasters such as CC Media Holdings Inc. (CCMO)’s Clear Channel. They will pay 1.7 percent of gross revenue minus deductions based on advertising commissions. Pandora said in its lawsuit that Ascap refused to offer it the same terms. Clear Channel operates the iHeartRadio Internet service, a direct competitor to Pandora.

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