Analysis: Don't be too hasty in judging ASCAP's suggestion, or you'll miss the societal benefits of imposing copyright fees to ringtones.

This splendid idea inexplicably managed to raise a ruckus right before everyone fled for the holiday weekend: Every time a musical ringtone plays in public -- suggests the American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers (ASCAP) -- carriers should pay a royalty for the "performance," a cost that would unfortunately need to be passed along to wireless phone users.

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