And there was a feeling the deal struck the right balance between rights holders’ needs and the rights of Internet customers. “While it is too early to tell whether a graduated response policy will have any measurable effect on the unauthorized distribution of music files, the framework does seem to strike an appropriate balance between access to a crucial communications platform and the need to protect the rights of artists,” said Future of Music Coalition Deputy Director Casey Rae-Hunter.
In an attempt to curb the unauthorized file sharing that has bedeviled the entertainment industry for over a decade, several major Internet Service Providers have agreed to implement a “graduated response” policy to educate — and potentially penalize — users caught illegally sharing copyrighted material online. To do this, ISPs will seek out hotbeds of peer-to-peer activity and target offending IP addresses. The policy is the result of collaboration and negotiation between ISPs and major content companies (think film studios and major labels).
“Creative License” is recommended not just for music geeks or music business geeks, but for anyone interested in law, the arts or both. Well written and treated with care, McLeod and DiCola’s work should be read on college campuses around the country.
The interests of EMI’s publishing arm may not necessarily be those of the songwriters it represents. As it is now, ASCAP takes a fee from payments it collects, then distributes the rest of the money equally between songwriter and publisher. Casey Rae-Hunter, of the nonprofit advocacy group Future of Music Coalition, says the big music publishers don’t have the same obligations to songwriters that ASCAP does to those same people, its members.
“What is EMI’s responsibility to the songwriters who are part of their publishing empire, and can we trust that this company is going to honor the 50-50 split that songwriters have worked out and honored over the years?” Hunter asks.
The “Preventing Real Online Threats to Economic Creativity and Theft of Intellectual Property Act” (PROTECTIP) is a bill currently introduced in the Senate [PDF]. It creates more opportunities for the government and interested individuals to police websites engaged in activities that infringe intellectual property (IP) rights.
[This post is by FMC legal intern Adam Holofcener]
Ready for your head to explode? Let’s talk copyright termination of transfer!
This is a topic that is incredibly complex but super-important to ensuring that musicians and other creators are able to regain control of their copyrights that they “transferred” to another entity (think labels and publishers) after a certain amount of time. Congress set the period after which these copyrights revert back to their authors, in the 1976 Copyright Act. Unfortunately, the law also includes some unintended head-scratchers. read more
[This post was authored by Policy Fellow Liz Allen]
FMC recently signed onto an amicus brief (friend of the court) in Golan v. Holder, a case currently pending at the Supreme Court. The case challenges Congress’s implementation of the Uruguay Round Agreements Act (URAA), which removes some works created by foreign authors from the US public domain and restores their copyright protections. Congress enacted this law in order to comply with an international trade agreement called the Agreement on Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS). read more
In June 2011, FMC signed onto an amicus (friend of the court) brief in Golan v. Holder, a case currently pending at the Supreme Court. The case challenges Congress’s implementation of the Uruguay Round of Agreements Act (URAA), which removes some works created by foreign authors from the US public domain and restores their copyright protections. Congress enacted this law in order to comply with an international trade agreement called the Agreement on Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS).
Co-signers include such groups such as the American Music Center, Chorus America, Fractured Atlas, the National Association for Media Arts and Culture, the National Alliance for Musical Theatre, and the National Performance Network, as well as academics and individual creators like Jonathan Lethem and Michael Chabon.
In Golan v. Holder, numerous parties (including orchestra conductors, educators, performers, publishers, film archivists and motion picture distributors) challenged the provisions of the URAA that remove works from the public domain. They argue that Section 514 of the URAA is unconstitutional because it violates their First Amendment rights of free expression. When the foreign works were in the public domain, these parties were free to use them in performances, incorporate them into their own projects, or use them as building blocks to create new works. When the URAA removed the works from the public domain, these “reliance parties” (authors who relied on those works being free to use) were left with few options. Basically, they could either refrain from using the foreign works or pay for the use they originally believed would be free.
FMC believes that the public domain is important to musicians and other creators and performers who draw upon the public domain for their own creative expression. If the Supreme Court decides that Congress can take works out of the public domain, it could set a precedent for future attempts to further deplete it.
The April release of Creative License: The Law and Culture of Digital Sampling marked the collaborative effort between the book’s authors and the team at Future of Music Coalition. Co-authored by Kembrew McLeod and FMC board member Peter DiCola, with contributions from Jenny Toomey and Kristin Thomson of FMC, Creative License is a significant contribution to the debate surrounding the law of digital sampling. read more