Pandora Media has, for quite some time, been battling ASCAP in a license dispute. The fight is finally over, or is at least taking a break, as Judge Denise L. Cote (United States District Court) ruled in the favor of Pandora, which basically means that ASCAP (American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers) cannot thwart efforts made by Pandora to license any music within its repertoire.
According to Billboard, ASCAP has been operating under the same consent decree since 1941, and under this decree, anytime Pandora, or any other music user, puts in a request for a license from ASCAP, they then have the right to play any and every song in ASCAP’s catalog.
Judge Cote wrote in her decision, “All means all. So, whether ASCAP purports to categorize Pandora as an applicant or a licensee, Pandora’s right to perform the compositions in the ASCAP repertory extends to all of ASCAP’s repertory and ASCAP may not narrow that right by denying Pandora the right to play the songs of publishers who have withdrawn new media licensing rights from certain songs while keeping the songs in ASCAP’s repertory to be licensed for performance by other music users.”