Copyright Modernization Act Update

September 15, 2006 , , ,

When last we left you, HR 6052, the Copyright Modernization Act, was scheduled to be marked up by the full House Judiciary Committee this past Wednesday. But the Committee did not get to the bill. It may have been for lack of time, but we think it was a combination of pressure from consumer electronics, public interest and broadcast groups, the recording industry and artists and songwriters who are just now learning how the bill would harm them.

The fight is far from over. The trade press is reporting that Lamar Smith (R-TX), the chief sponsor of the bill and the Chair of the House Subcommittee on Courts, the Internet and Intellectual Property, will make some changes, but is determined to mark up the bill next week, regardless of whether there are outstanding concerns.

As I have said before, online music licensing reform is important and necessary, and it is doable so long as the bill is not used for other purposes, like diminishing consumers' rights, limiting innovation and taking from artists and songwriters what is rightfully theirs. If Chairman Smith is willing to cut through the wish lists of the big record labels and music publishers, we could have ourselves a very good bill.