Press Release Music Licensing

Public Knowledge Urges Congress to Improve Music Modernization Act

June 28, 2018 , , ,

Today, the Senate Judiciary Committee marked up Senator Orrin Hatch’s (R-UT) bill, “The Music Modernization Act,” (S.R. 2334) to update the music licensing marketplace. Public Knowledge urges Congress to continue to fix and improve the Music Modernization Act to rationalize the copyright system and protect historians, libraries, archivists, and consumers.

The Music Modernization Act attempts to fix a number of systemic issues in the music licensing marketplace. Among its provisions is language from the CLASSICS Act, which attempts to “solve” the problem of pre-1972 sound recordings by giving them a new federal right, without bringing them into the established system of federal copyright.

The following can be attributed to Meredith Rose, Policy Counsel at Public Knowledge:

“Legacy sound recordings deserve the same protections as their modern counterparts. This includes identical terms, limitations, and exceptions to preserve the careful balance between rights of control, and rights of access and preservation, that Congress has attempted to preserve over the previous decades. Legacy artists are absolutely in need of relief after decades of abusive industry practices, but there is no rational reason for that relief to last an extra 50-plus years beyond the 95-year term provided for musical compositions and other copyrighted works.”