Vanderbilt Journal of Entertainment & Technology Law


Carmen K. Yuen

First Page



A cell phone goes off, but instead of "Brring," you hear the disco swirls of ABBA's "Money, Money, Money." The tune is rather revealing about the potential of the U.S. ringtone market. Consumers are enjoying an increased selection of MP3-quality ringtones, but the music industry is grappling with a host of legal complications. The new ringtone format is unprecedented, and copyright law offers little clarification on which royalties are due to whom. As a result, labels, publishers, ringtone companies and performing rights organizations are avoiding litigation, and negotiating innovative deals instead. Are private business solutions enough to resolve the ringtone issues? How can the Copyright Act stay pertinent to new digital media?