Sometimes companies really seem to be falling off their rockers. The ASCAP is trying claim that every time your phone plays a ringtone in public you are “publicly performing” without a license. They have just submitted this brief [2.5MB PDF] in their lawsuit with AT&T over getting yet another royalty for music ringtones. Carriers argue that the owners are already getting paid when each ringtone is downloaded but the ASCAP thinks there should be another royalty paid for these “public performances.”
Fred von Lohmann of the EFF did a great job of breaking down their case. It looks like they have a snowballs chance in hell of winning but this just goes to show that the music industry is truly losing its touch with reality and their customers.