On Thursday, May 16, the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Intellectual Property, Competition Policy and the Internet held a hearing entitled “A Case Study for Consensus Building: The Copyright Principles Project.”
Witnesses included Pamela Samuelson (University of California at Berkeley Law School); Jon Baumgarten (former General Counsel of the U.S. Copyright Office); Laura Gasaway (University of North Carolina Law School); Daniel Gervais (Vanderbilt Law School Intellectual Property Program); and Jule Sigall (Assistant General Counsel for Copyright at Microsoft). All of the panelists contributed to the Copyright Principles Project and its 2010 report [PDF].
Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) called the hearing as his first effort in a broader inquiry to examine specific aspects of current copyright law.
FMC’s written testimony, which was submitted to the Committee for the official record, makes the basic point that creators must be included in future hearings, as their perspectives will help inform any apparaisal of the impact of existing (or proposed) rules.
We also tee up some issues that the Committee might consider looking at in future hearings — from “orphan works” to licensing and artist leverage to voluntary copyright registries to “parity” in broadcasting. These aspects of copyright law (and others) will continue to have an impact on the entire music ecosystem. Musicians are major stakeholders here, and their views must be taken into account.
One way to do so is by using data to inform the policymaking process. Quantitiative information about the musician experience has been, for many years, difficult to come by. That’s why, In 2010, FMC launched Artist Revenue Streams – a multi-method, cross-genre examination of whether and how musicians’ revenue streams are changing in this new music landscape. Our testimony makes plain the need to consider artist-focused data in any evidence-gathering about copyright, technology and the music marketplace.
What do YOU think Congress should be considering in its review of copyright law? Tell us in the comments.