BMI Sues T-Mobile Over Ringbacks
With any fanfare, in mid-December BMI filed a lawsuit against T-Mobile saying the company had failed to pay performance royalties for ringbacks it sold on at least 50 of its represented titles. “Despite extensive BMI efforts spanning several years, T-Mobile has not signed a license agreement,” said the organization which represents a half million songwriters and publishers.
Last year, ASCAP filed a similar lawsuit against AT&T. The court found that ringtones did not constitute a public performance and therefore no performance royalties were due. Total U.S. ringback tone sales are projected at $235 million.