Not long ago, we reported on US Register of Copyrights Maria Pallante’s House Judiciary Committee testimony regarding “the next great copyright act.” Pallante described the need to update our existing laws to make them not only more comprehensible to the average American, but also work better in a rapidly-evolving technological landscape. We thought that her reasoning was sound and that she was focusing on the right areas, including the incredibly complicated licensing environment for music.
Clearly, the commitee was listening. Yesterday, at a Library of Congress event marking World Intellectual Property Day, Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) signaled his intent to review the Copyright Act (which was passed in 1976 and took effect in 1978), with an eye to optimizing the laws to reflect current realities. You can read Goodlatte’s full remarks here. (Self-referential bit — Goodlatte also gave a keynote at the 10th Future of Music Summit.)
Well, this week, a New York City federal court passed (partial) summary judgement against ReDigi [PDF], ruling that the service is liable for infringement. In doing so, the court strongly rejected ReDigi’s claims that their activities are covered under “fair use,” as well as the aforementioned first sale doctrine.
What does this matter to musicians? Well, first off, musicians are also music consumers. Second, creator compensation looks different in a used marketplace (typically nonexistent). ReDigi did supposedly hold a percentage of revenue from “used” sales in “escrow,” but it’s a bit fuzzy how this money would get to artists.
In this post, we’ll look at some of the legal factors involved in the court decision. You can tell us what you think in the comments.
On March 6, 2013, Future of Music Coalition submitted reply comments to the United States Copyright Office Notice of Inquiry Concerning Orphan Works and Mass Digitization. All reply comments can be viewed here.
On Monday March 4th, US Register of Copyrights MariaPallantedelivered a speech at Columbia Law School entitled “The Next Great Copyright Act.” Her remarks drew immediate attention within the creative communities and beyond — after all, it’s not every day that the nation’s top official on copyright calls for Congress to overhaul existing law.
Music and government may not seem like they have much in common. But four panelists did their best to convince an audience at SXSW that they were, in fact, hopelessly intertwined.
“These issues are breathtakingly complicated,” said the panel’s moderator, Michael Bracy, policy director at the Future of Music Coalition. “How do you build a regulatory structure for a market that is changing so rapidly?” read more
For the past twelve years, Future of Music Coalition has worked to inform and engage musicians and the music community on issues that impact artists and creative culture as a whole. Some of our work is very straightforward, such as reinforcing the notion that musicians have a range of views on a host of issues and must be included in discussions about their livelihoods. Some of it is nuanced, such as examining how artists are paid in the emerging digital economy and complex questions around copyright and technology. read more
Washington, D.C.— Future of Music Coalition (FMC) — a national non-profit research, education and advocacy organization for musicians — has proposed a set of creator-centric changes to US copyright law to ensure that musicians and other artists are included in a solution to the so-called “orphan works” problem.
Orphan works are those whose rightful owner cannot be located. For a decade, policymakers have wrestled with a solution that allows for increased access to cultural expression while respecting the rights of copyright owners. FMC supports legislation to address the issue, and has provided the US Copyright Office with specific ways to include creators in their recommendations. read more
If you’re tuned into the music-tech-policy punditsphere, you’ve probably come across debates about “brand-supported piracy.” Put simply, this is when major corporations have their products advertised on sites that offer music, movies and TV shows to which they don’t have the rights. This doesn’t sit well with creators and content companies, who are frustrated at third parties making money from unauthorized access to their works.
As longtime champions of a legitimate digital marketplace where artists are compensated and fans can easily find lawful content, we understand the concerns. read more
Once upon a time, a performing artist signed with a record label (let’s call the artist Jimmy Hendricks, and the label Toe Jam Records). Hendricks had a pretty decent career, touring around the country, but his record didn’t make much of a splash, failing to receive significant airplay or “move units,” in recordbizspeak. Then, in 2010, an up-and-coming hip-hop artist dropped a pitch-shifted guitar lick from Hendrick’s tune “I Enjoy Rock ‘n’ Roll” into his bangin’ new track. The hip-hopper loved what this lick did for his song, but was justifiably worried about being sued for infringement.