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Copyright judges impose peace

October 6, 2008

Three US copyright judges have imposed a truce between songwriters, music labels and digital music services such as Apple's iTunes store by keeping royalties on CDs, downloads, online streaming services and ringtones broadly unchanged. The ruling from the Copyright Royalty Board in Washington gave none of the parties what they had asked for but allowed each to claim that it would boost the nascent but growing digital music market. Songwriters and the publishers that represent them will receive the same 9.1 cents per track for digital downloads and CDs as they had before, but secured a 24 cent fee for each ringtone and the right to seek a 1.5 per cent-per-month interest if labels or digital retailers fail to pay them promptly.Music publishers had pushed for a 15 cent "mechanical" royalty from downloads and CDs, while digital music services wanted it cut to 4.8 cents.

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