Copyright Law Reform Needed?

The new royalty rate structure handed down by the CRB has stirred much discussion, both here and elsewhere. As I’ve continued reading on the subject I found an article on I thought was interesting enough to pass along.

The subject of the article is overall copyright law in relation to online providers. This could include internet radio, and also online download stores.

Marybeth Peters is the U.S. Register of Copyrights and has been since the Clinton administration. She recently asked a House Subcommittee on courts, internet, and intellectual property to clean up the copyright law. She singled out Section 115 of the Copyright Act. This section of the law deals with compulsory licensing. Compulsory licensing means that if a company pays the licensing fee, the record label is compelled to let them use the music, even if the label doesn’t like the service being provided.

Jonathan Potter, executive director of the DiMA, has backed Peter’s bid for reform.

DiMA seconds Register Peters’ call for Chairman Berman, Ranking Member Coble and other Subcommittee Members to reform Section 115 this year, lest we find ourselves stuck in the same place on the 100th anniversary of a statute written in 1909 to promote piano roll licensing.

Laws written 100 years ago for piano rolls…yeah we might want to review that and see if it’s still applicable.