When I was growing up, it was pretty easy to distinguish mechanical reproductions from public performances. I usually just asked Alexander Graham Bell.
However, one’s and zero’s changed everything. ASCAP called Yahoo and RealNetworks wankers for not licensing digital downloads and went all argy-bargy in District Court. The Judge said ASCAP’s argument was balls-up and ASCAP appealed.
The 2nd Circuit was not gobsmacked by ASCAP and agreed that a digital download (as opposed to streaming) is a mechanical reproduction. No PRO license needed! Wanna read more?