Oxenford looks at Register of Copyrights proposals for copyright reform

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Issue Date: 
Jun 11 2013 - 12:30pm

From Issue:

We're written several times about U.S. Register of Copyrights Maria Pallante's efforts to spur Congress to reform copyright law.

The usage, creation, and consumption of copyright material in 2013 is massively different than even 15 years ago, when the Digital Millennium Copyright Act was passed -- the last major update to copyright law. Many of the concepts created even that recently no longer fit today's reality.

Streaming radio legal and royalties expert David Oxenford summarized some of Pallante's thinking today. He wrote of Pallante aims for updated copyright laws:

"Copyright owners must have the meaningful ability to protect the content that they create. But the public must also be able to access that content in a meaningful ways. Both creators and users of content have responsibilities to participate in the larger copyright economy to make sure that it functions properly."

He cited Pallante's call for "a full performance right in sound recordings," which we wrote about here. While we wrote specifically about a potential broadcast royalty obligation for sound recordings, Oxenford points out that Pallante's assertion could potentially mean sound recording royalties for "bars, restaurants, stadiums, and all other venues where recorded music is performed." (Like broadcast radio in the U.S., today these venues pay publishers and songwriters to publicly perform copyright song compositions, but not for recordings.)

There's more, and we recommend reading Oxenford's summary of Pallante's thinking in Broadcast Law Blog here.

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