The U.K. Copyright Tribunal has endorsed the settlement agreement for online and mobile royalty rates reached between the MCPS-PRS Alliance and a string of online music companies.

According to the Alliance, the Tribunal decision confirms an agreement reached in September 2006 which meant that songwriters, composers and their publishers should receive 8% of gross revenue from online music service providers for on-demand services.

As part of that settlement, the Alliance's membership would also stand to receive 6.5% of revenue for interactive Webcasting services and 5.75% for non-interactive Webcasting.

"This is a great result for music creators," says the Alliance's CEO Steve Porter, in a statement issued today. "We are happy that the Tribunal has endorsed our approach to this licensing of music used in online services."

Porter adds, "The uncertainty has finally been removed and we have a template for the future that recognizes and affirms the value of the creative process to the online music business."

The BPI and a string of online music firms - including AOL, MusicNet, Napster, RealNetworks, Sony Connect and Yahoo - had initially locked horns with the Alliance over digital royalty rates, arguing that there was a discrepancy between the fees charged by the Alliance for physical, broadcast and online products. The costly legal dispute was referred to the three-member tribunal on June 29, 2005.