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.
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.
Yesterday, the U.S. House of Representatives voted to pass the Music Modernization Act (2018), a combination of the consumer-friendly Music Modernization Act (2017) and the CLASSICS Act, which seeks to create a “right to be paid” for pre-1972 sound recordings without fully federalizing these works.
Today, Public Knowledge filed an amicus curiae brief in Williams v. Gaye, the “Blurred Lines” case, before the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. This brief argues that creative works build upon other creative works, and thus copyright law should not limit creativity by expanding over non-copyrightable elements in those works.
Today, the Department of Justice concluded its review of the antitrust consent decrees governing ASCAP and BMI, the two largest music performance rights organizations (PROs) in the United States. After two years of extensive public comment and analysis, the Department has determined it would be inappropriate to amend the consent decrees in ways that would enable music publishers to take greater advantage of their market dominance in negotiating licenses. Additionally, it has clarified licensing practices that came to light during its review. Public Knowledge has advocated for the Department to adopt these positions throughout the review and welcomes the decision.