Japanese authors society JASRAC today reported that copyright fee collections for the year ending March 31 fell 2.2% year-on-year to ¥111.1 billion ($923.2 million), marking the first time in five years collections have not risen year-on-year.

Performance right royalties collections by the Japanese Society for Rights of Authors, Composers and Publishers were up 0.9% to ¥48.8 billion ($405.3 million), but mechanical fee collections fell 5.4% to ¥41.9 billion ($348.4 million), largely due to declining CD sales as well as poorer results for videos and DVDs.

Another reason for the overall drop in collections was a 46% decline in royalties from polyphonic ringtones to ¥3.3 billion ($27.8 million), as Japanese mobile-phone users turned increasingly to master ringtones, collections for which increased 23.3% to ¥2.2 billion ($18.2 million). Royalties from full-song downloads (via mobile phone or personal computer) rose 73.5% to ¥2.2 billion ($18.2 million).

JASRAC's collections for the year also included a 2.8% decline in fees from publications to ¥1.5 billion ($12.5) and a 3.8% rise in fees from rental of CDs and videos to ¥3.8 billion ($31.6 million).

A 12.9% decline to ¥646.7 million ($5.4 million) in payments was reported from SARAH, the society set up to administer home-copying compensation fees from makers of digital recording hardware and software such as DATs and mini discs.