U.S. Copyright Office proposes overhaul of music licensing system

Posted on: February 6, 2015

“The United Sates music industry is preparing for a major overhaul of its copyright framework following the disclosure on February 5 by the US Copyright Office of its proposals to modernise the music licensing system,” writes Emmanuel Legrand in Friday’s (2/6) Music Week (London). “The proposals are contained in a 246-page report titled Copyright And The Music Marketplace.… The Copyright Office’s recommendations cover a wide range of issues, such as 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. ‘Few would dispute that music is culturally essential and economically important to the world we live in,’ said the US Register of Copyrights Maria Pallante, ‘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 United States.’ ” The article quotes National Music Publishers Association President and CEO David Israelite; ASCAP Chairman and President Paul Williams; Recording Industry Association of America Chairman and CEO Cary Sherman; and Neil Portnow, President/CEO of the Recording Academy (National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences).

Posted February 6, 2015