Three online companies continue with Tribunal action.

Sony Connect is the latest digital music firm to reach settlement with U.K. authors' rights society the MCPS-PRS Alliance with regards to the fracas over online and mobile royalty rates.

As a result of the three-year agreement, unveiled today (Oct. 11), Sony Connect will withdraw its reference from the Copyright Tribunal. Under the deal, composers, songwriters and music publishers will receive 8% of gross revenue less value-added-tax when their music is sold via Sony Connect's current music service. These rates are subject to minimum royalties.

Today's news follows similar agreements forged between the Alliance and the BPI, iTunes, O2, Orange, T-Mobile and Vodafone, and more recently MusicNet and Napster

The BPI and seven online services -- AOL, Apple iTunes, MusicNet, Napster, RealNetworks, Sony Connect and Yahoo! -- had contended that there was a discrepancy between the royalty fees charged by the Alliance for physical, broadcast and online products. The dispute was referred to the mediator on June 29, 2005.

Copyright Tribunal proceedings are scheduled to continue in mid-November in respect of unresolved issues between the MCPS-PRS Alliance and AOL, Realnetworks and Yahoo. A single issue remains outstanding for iTunes and each of the mobile network operators -- O2, Orange, T-Mobile and Vodafone -- based on definitions of terms.