iTunes Radio does not justify Pandora rate hike, judge says in major royalty decision


A federal judge sided with internet radio service Pandora(s p) over the music industry in a bitter fight over songwriting royalties Wednesday, after concluding that Pandora is more akin to regular radio than other music services like iTunes Radio and Spotify.

In a decision published Wednesday in New York, U.S. District Judge Denise Cote concluded that Pandora should continue paying a royalty rate of 1.85 percent of its annual revenues, and that the 3 percent music publishers had sought was not “reasonable.”

While the parties announced the numbers on Friday, the judge only published her 136-page decision this week after Pandora, Apple(s aapl) and others had an opportunity to redact confidential information.

Pandora is radio

The lawsuit began in late 2012 after Pandora sued the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP), which licenses music on behalf of songwriters and publishers, after the two sides were unable to agree on…

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