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CDT, EFF and PK File Brief in Ringtones Case

CDT, the Electronic Frontier Foundation, and Public Knowledge filed a "friend of the court" brief on Wednesday opposing efforts by the music licensing organization ASCAP to impose additional licensing payments on providers of musical ringtones for mobile phones. The brief urges the court to reject ASCAP’s argument that ringtones are "public performances" under copyright law simply because a phone may ring when the user happens to be in a public place. ASCAP’s position implies that numerous ordinary mobile phone users are copyright infringers and would expand copyright liability in ways that would chill innovation in products far beyond the relatively narrow context of ringtones.