Pandora to appeal BMI rate ruling

Pandora cube canvas 160wPandora has filed an appeal against the decision of Judge Louis L. Stanton in the rate-setting case with BMI. As the decision stands, Pandora’s royalty rate for BMI-represented music was raised to 2.5%. That ruling came in May, in contrast to Pandora’s victory over BMI rival ASCAP, in which proceeding Pandora won a lower rate of 1.85%.

The appeal argues that Judge Stanton was wrong to disregard the confirmation of a 1.85% rate set for payments to ASCAP, the other lead performing rights organization. It also says that Stanton should not have included rates from direct deals with publishers in determining the BMI rate. Pandora called the May ruling “a case study in how a district court should not handle a rate court case.”

Following his initial ruling, Stanton has since ruled against the online radio company’s request for lower payments to BMI following its purchase of a terrestrial radio station in South Dakota.

Anna Washenko