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February 5, 2015 |News Articles

RIAA Reaction To U.S. Copyright Office Proposed Reforms To Music Licensing System

The U.S. Copyright Office makes recommendations on how to modernize music licensing.

The U.S. Copyright Office today issued a comprehensive report – “Copyright and the Music Marketplace” – with its recommendations on how to modernize music licensing. Below is a comment on the report from RIAA Chairman and CEO Cary Sherman:

“The Copyright Office has made an important contribution to the ongoing conversation about modernizing the copyright laws. They have given all of us in the music community a lot to digest and reflect upon. As the economic engines of the broader music industry, record labels look forward to participating in this ongoing discussion and working towards reform that will both modernize the outdated music licensing system and more accurately reflect the investments and value that the various stakeholders bring to the music marketplace.

“The office recognizes a consensus within the industry that the current system for licensing musical compositions is broken. Reform is necessary to develop new revenue streams for all creators and innovative consumer product offerings for music fans. The office also recognized that it is time to fix the system to ensure that all creators are paid fair market value for their work, regardless of the platform on which their work is used. For example, a performance right for FM and AM radio is long overdue. The fact that a multi-billion dollar broadcasting industry that derives its value from music gets a special interest carve-out from paying artists and labels continues to be indefensible. Likewise, artists and labels behind iconic recordings made before 1972 deserve to be compensated by digital radio outlets like Pandora and Sirius. They could change their minds and start doing the right thing tomorrow. We are pleased that recent court decisions have focused attention on this injustice and we look forward to resolving those lawsuits so that discrimination against these iconic recordings no longer exists.

“Working with our music industry partners, there’s much we can accomplish to foster a more vibrant and successful online music marketplace. We look forward to studying the report in depth to further understand the office’s recommendations and to working with the office and all stakeholders to improve music licensing.”