U.S. Copyright Office Endorses Performance Royalty for Radio

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  • courtesy AllAccess.com   February 5, 2015 at 11:44 AM (PT)
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    Royalty Row Expected

    The U.S. COPYRIGHT OFFICE has released a new study, “Copyright and the Music Marketplace,” that recommends major changes to current copyright laws. Chief among them are requiring terrestrial radio broadcasters to pay performance royalties from sound recordings and giving publishers and other music rights owners the power to withdraw streaming rights from services. Essentially, performance rights organizations would evolve into “music rights organizations” that can bundle reproduction, distribution and performance rights together.

    As noted on its website, “The COPYRIGHT OFFICE’s recommendations address almost every aspect of the music landscape, including the existing statutory licenses, the role of performing rights organizations, terrestrial performance rights for sound recordings, federal protection for pre-1972 sound recordings, access to music ownership data, and the concerns of songwriters and recording artists. These recommendations present a series of balanced tradeoffs designed to create a more rational music licensing system for all.”

    “Few would dispute that music is culturally essential and economically important to the world we live in,” Register of Copyrights MARIA A. PALLANTE said, “but the reality is that both music creators and the innovators who support them are increasingly doing business in legal quicksand. As this report makes clear, this state of affairs neither furthers the copyright law nor befits a nation as creative as the U.S.”

    Reaction: musicFIRST

    Predictably, musicFIRST COALITION Exec. Dir. TED KALO welcomed the report’s conclusions: “THE COPYRIGHT OFFICE is the nation’s preeminent authority on copyright issues -– and they don’t have a dog in this fight other than coming up with the best and fairest policy we can. When they call for an AM/FM performance right for sound recordings and ‘licensing parity’ to level the playing field among music services and technologies, that’s a game-changing moment for this debate.

    “The COPYRIGHT OFFICE could not have been more clear that we need broad reform to make music licensing work better for everyone who loves and creates music. That includes artists, record companies, songwriters, music services, and above all fans looking for a sustainable, accessible music ecosystem.

    “The COPYRIGHT OFFICE was particularly emphatic about the need to end the decades-long loophole that allows Big Radio to use any music it wants without paying artists or record companies anything, saying their arguments for promotion ‘ring hollow’ and promotion by radio is ‘less apparent’ than ever in a world moving towards streaming and listening-based models. It also categorically rejected the idea that satellite radio should have its own special below-market rate standard, calling the SIRIUSXM grandfather a ‘legislative artifact.’”

– See more at: http://www.allaccess.com/net-news/archive/story/138054/u-s-copyright-office-report-endorses-performance-r?ref=mail_bulletin#sthash.XxNnP7Qs.dpuf

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