Verizon Wireless and AT&T do not need public performance licenses for the ringtones they sell to their customers, a federal judge has ruled.
Noting that the companies already pay licensing fees to download the 30-second snippets of music, Southern District Judge Denise L. Cote in In re Application of Cellco Partnership, 09 civ. 7074, said the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers cannot demand additional royalties for the times the ringtones go off in a public place, such as in a restaurant or at the beach.
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