In re Application of Cellco Partnership d/b/a Verizon Wireless

Opinion & Order


Order ruling that cell phone companies to not need a "public performance" license for the 30-second music clips that they sell to their customers as ringtones. Neither the customers nor the wireless carriers are liable for using the song clips as ringtones.

The ruling hinged on the idea that ringtones, whether downloaded onto a phone or being played once the phone rings, do not constitute a "performance" within the meaning of the Copyright Act, 17 U.S.C. § 106. Accordingly, neither the carriers nor the customers needed to have a public performance license.

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Reference Info:Decision | Federal, 2nd Circuit, New York | United States

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