U.S. Copyright Office Calls For Public Comment on Music Licensing

by DLA Piper
Contact

As part of a concerted effort to assess the effectiveness of existing methods of licensing music, the US Copyright Office has published a request in the Federal Register for public comment on a number of copyright issues. This request relates to an ongoing congressional review and a potential overhaul of the US Copyright Act, 17 U.S.C. 101, et. seq. (the “Act”),  in view of technological developments that continue to shape music industry practices in the digital age.  According to the Copyright Office, information gathered during the public comment period will be reported to Congress for consideration of possible revisions to the Act.

The congressional review is directed to a variety of issues concerning the US copyright system’s mechanisms for licensing musical works (i.e., compositions) and sound recordings (i.e., recorded performances of musical works). The Copyright Office thus seeks public comment related to a number of subjects, including (for example):

  • whether Section 115 of the Act – which establishes a compulsory licensing scheme for the right to reproduce and distribute phonorecords (i.e., physical copies) of musical works – should be updated to permit licensing of musical works on a “blanket” rather than “song-by-song” basis;
  • whether the scope of Section 115’s statutory license should be expanded to include public performances of musical works;
  • whether antitrust consent decrees governing Broadcast Music, Inc. (“BMI”) and the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (“ASCAP”) with respect to public performance licenses for musical works:
    • are serving their intended purpose of protecting licensees from anticompetitive price discrimination, or
    • should be amended to enable music publishers to withdraw digital rights from the blanket BMI/ASCAP license and negotiate public performance licenses directly with digital music services (an issue that internet radio service provider Pandora recently litigated against both ASCAP and BMI);
  • whether the limited public performance right in sound recordings pursuant to Section 114 – which applies only to “digital audio transmissions” (i.e., satellite radio and internet-based music services) – should be expanded to include broadcast radio transmissions; and
  • whether federal copyright protection should extend to sound recordings made prior to February, 15 1972 in view of recent developments and, if so, whether pre-1972 sound recordings should be included within the Act’s statutory licensing provisions.

In addition to considering specific revisions to the Act, Congress is also assessing how the federal government might influence music licensing policy more generally.  The Copyright Office thus seeks comment on whether and to what extent the government could play a role in encouraging: (i) the development of alternative licensing models and (ii) the adoption of universal standards for identifying sound recordings and musical works to facilitate the music licensing process. From an economic perspective, Congress is also analyzing how music marketplace advancements have impacted the income of recording artists, composers and songwriters, and whether industry revenues are split fairly between distributors and creators of musical works and sounds recordings.

Comments are due by May 16, 2014 and can be submitted electronically on a comment page on the Copyright Office’s website.

The relevant notice in the Federal Register can be read here: http://www.copyright.gov/fedreg/2014/79fr14739.pdf

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

© DLA Piper | Attorney Advertising

Written by:

DLA Piper
Contact
more
less

DLA Piper on:

Readers' Choice 2017
Reporters on Deadline

"My best business intelligence, in one easy email…"

Your first step to building a free, personalized, morning email brief covering pertinent authors and topics on JD Supra:
Sign up using*

Already signed up? Log in here

*By using the service, you signify your acceptance of JD Supra's Privacy Policy.
Privacy Policy (Updated: October 8, 2015):
hide

JD Supra provides users with access to its legal industry publishing services (the "Service") through its website (the "Website") as well as through other sources. Our policies with regard to data collection and use of personal information of users of the Service, regardless of the manner in which users access the Service, and visitors to the Website are set forth in this statement ("Policy"). By using the Service, you signify your acceptance of this Policy.

Information Collection and Use by JD Supra

JD Supra collects users' names, companies, titles, e-mail address and industry. JD Supra also tracks the pages that users visit, logs IP addresses and aggregates non-personally identifiable user data and browser type. This data is gathered using cookies and other technologies.

The information and data collected is used to authenticate users and to send notifications relating to the Service, including email alerts to which users have subscribed; to manage the Service and Website, to improve the Service and to customize the user's experience. This information is also provided to the authors of the content to give them insight into their readership and help them to improve their content, so that it is most useful for our users.

JD Supra does not sell, rent or otherwise provide your details to third parties, other than to the authors of the content on JD Supra.

If you prefer not to enable cookies, you may change your browser settings to disable cookies; however, please note that rejecting cookies while visiting the Website may result in certain parts of the Website not operating correctly or as efficiently as if cookies were allowed.

Email Choice/Opt-out

Users who opt in to receive emails may choose to no longer receive e-mail updates and newsletters by selecting the "opt-out of future email" option in the email they receive from JD Supra or in their JD Supra account management screen.

Security

JD Supra takes reasonable precautions to insure that user information is kept private. We restrict access to user information to those individuals who reasonably need access to perform their job functions, such as our third party email service, customer service personnel and technical staff. However, please note that no method of transmitting or storing data is completely secure and we cannot guarantee the security of user information. Unauthorized entry or use, hardware or software failure, and other factors may compromise the security of user information at any time.

If you have reason to believe that your interaction with us is no longer secure, you must immediately notify us of the problem by contacting us at info@jdsupra.com. In the unlikely event that we believe that the security of your user information in our possession or control may have been compromised, we may seek to notify you of that development and, if so, will endeavor to do so as promptly as practicable under the circumstances.

Sharing and Disclosure of Information JD Supra Collects

Except as otherwise described in this privacy statement, JD Supra will not disclose personal information to any third party unless we believe that disclosure is necessary to: (1) comply with applicable laws; (2) respond to governmental inquiries or requests; (3) comply with valid legal process; (4) protect the rights, privacy, safety or property of JD Supra, users of the Service, Website visitors or the public; (5) permit us to pursue available remedies or limit the damages that we may sustain; and (6) enforce our Terms & Conditions of Use.

In the event there is a change in the corporate structure of JD Supra such as, but not limited to, merger, consolidation, sale, liquidation or transfer of substantial assets, JD Supra may, in its sole discretion, transfer, sell or assign information collected on and through the Service to one or more affiliated or unaffiliated third parties.

Links to Other Websites

This Website and the Service may contain links to other websites. The operator of such other websites may collect information about you, including through cookies or other technologies. If you are using the Service through the Website and link to another site, you will leave the Website and this Policy will not apply to your use of and activity on those other sites. We encourage you to read the legal notices posted on those sites, including their privacy policies. We shall have no responsibility or liability for your visitation to, and the data collection and use practices of, such other sites. This Policy applies solely to the information collected in connection with your use of this Website and does not apply to any practices conducted offline or in connection with any other websites.

Changes in Our Privacy Policy

We reserve the right to change this Policy at any time. Please refer to the date at the top of this page to determine when this Policy was last revised. Any changes to our privacy policy will become effective upon posting of the revised policy on the Website. By continuing to use the Service or Website following such changes, you will be deemed to have agreed to such changes. If you do not agree with the terms of this Policy, as it may be amended from time to time, in whole or part, please do not continue using the Service or the Website.

Contacting JD Supra

If you have any questions about this privacy statement, the practices of this site, your dealings with this Web site, or if you would like to change any of the information you have provided to us, please contact us at: info@jdsupra.com.

- hide
*With LinkedIn, you don't need to create a separate login to manage your free JD Supra account, and we can make suggestions based on your needs and interests. We will not post anything on LinkedIn in your name. Or, sign up using your email address.