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.
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.