Yesterday, the House of Representatives passed a new and improved version of the Music Modernization Act, following the Senate’s lead from last week. We had expressed strong reservations about the earlier iterations of this bill, and its impact on the public domain for sound recordings. We’re happy to say that after extensive negotiations spearheaded by Senator Ron Wyden, the new version of the bill brings these works more fully into line with with the existing copyright system for legacy works and finally allows these recordings to enter the public domain. The bill now heads to the President’s desk.
Today, the U.S. Senate passed the Music Modernization Act of 2018 with substantial revisions to protect and foster the public domain for sound recordings. Earlier versions of the bill contained a version of the CLASSICS Act that would have kept recordings from as early as 1923 out of public hands until 2067.
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.
Today, Senator Wyden (D-OR) introduced the ACCESS to Recordings Act, which would extend federal copyright protection to pre-1972 sound recordings, and in doing so, harmonize them with their modern counterparts. Public Knowledge applauds Senator Wyden for acknowledging the injustices posed by the current system and fighting to rationalize our copyright law.
Yesterday, more than 40 intellectual property law professors sent a letter to the Senate Judiciary Committee’s Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-IA), Ranking Member Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), and all members of the committee, urging them to reject or, at a minimum, amend the CLASSICS Act to ensure that its provisions are in line with existing federal copyright law.