ASCAP and Liquid Audio announce Strategic Alliance

On April 15, ASCAP (American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers), the music performing-rights organization, and Liquid Audio, a developer of secure online music delivery systems, announced a strategic alliance to protect ownership of music on the Internet. According to a Liquid Audio press release, the initiative encourages, streamlines, and simplifies music-rights licensing and reporting, and will benefit website creators as well as music writers, publishers, and composers.

Liquid Audio plans on working with ASCAP to encourage websites that use Liquid Audio's music-distribution technology for the sale or preview of music over the Internet to secure the appropriate music-performance licenses from ASCAP.

Under the agreement, Liquid Audio will handle the reporting of automated rights to ASCAP from the licensed sites and facilitate the collection and payment of royalties for music sold and played via the Internet, thus protecting the rights of composers and music publishers.

"Protecting artists' music is a fundamental core of Liquid Audio's business," said Robert Flynn, a vice president at Liquid Audio. "By working with ASCAP, we are making it easy for music websites to be legally responsible and for composers and artists to get the credit they deserve for their music. This is a win-win situation for all parties involved."

"Music is proving itself to be truly one of the most powerful applications on the web," said Marc Morgenstern, a senior vice president at ASCAP. "ASCAP and Liquid Audio share a passion for encouraging music use that fairly benefits both the web operators and the individual composers, writers, and publishers who own the songs. We look forward to working closely together in this alliance."

Under an annual ASCAP license fee starting at $250, website operators can select from three variable rate schedules, depending on their business model. ASCAP provides an online RateCalc on its website to help Web operators calculate which rate schedule is best for them.

ASCAP is a member-owned organization of songwriters, composers, and publishers that enforces the licensing rights of music used online and in television, radio, concerts, business establishments, and other media.