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Today, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Hatch-Goodlatte Music Modernization Act of 2018, including substantial revisions to protect and foster the public domain for sound recordings. Earlier House versions of the bill contained a version of the CLASSICS Act that would have kept recordings from as early as 1923 locked away under copyright until 2067. The Senate previously passed the updated bill, taking into account public interest concerns.
The following can be attributed to Meredith Rose, Policy Counsel at Public Knowledge:
“We’re pleased to see this updated bill pass the House. While the copyright terms in the revised bill aren’t perfect, they are vastly improved from the House’s original version, and avoid locking away pre-1972 sound recordings for many more decades than necessary. Furthermore, the bill now guarantees that old sound recordings will clearly and fully enter the public domain after the expiration of this new federal right.
“These changes will provide legal clarity to users, delivery services, rights holders and artists alike. They will also foster a robust public domain that expands over time, helping libraries, archivists, and non-profits to preserve the vast universe of sound recordings that are no longer commercially available. We believe this revised bill represents a significant step forward for both artists and music fans.”