Posts Tagged: "Music Modernization Act"

Ninth Circuit Reverses Win for the Turtles’ Rights Owners Under California Law on Copyright for Public Performance

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit on Monday ruled that California common law on copyright protection does not include a right of public performance, reversing a partial summary judgment for Flo & Eddie, which controls the rights to the songs of the rock band the Turtles. The case began in 2013, when Flo & Eddie sued Sirius XM Radio, Inc. for playing the Turtles’ iconic pre-1972 recordings, such as “Happy Together” and “Elenore.” While AM/FM radio stations do not pay public performance royalties to sound recording owners, digital and satellite radio providers like Sirius XM must pay public performance royalties whenever they broadcast post-1972 music.

Mechanical Licensing Collective’s $424.4 Million Unmatched Royalty Collection Highlights Music Modernization Act’s Limited Liability Compromise

On February 16, the Mechanical Licensing Collective (MLC) – a nonprofit organization designated by the U.S. Copyright Office to administer blanket mechanical licenses to eligible streaming and download services in the United States –announced that it had received a total of $424.4 million in unmatched royalties accrued by 20 digital service providers (DSPs), including Spotify and Apple Music, during a three-year transition period under the terms of the Music Modernization Act (MMA). The transfer of unmatched royalties enables these DSPs to qualify for limited liability provisions under the MMA. At the same time, usage data submitted by DSPs associated with the accrued unmatched royalties is expected to help the MLC identify copyright owners for distributing royalty payments, the first of which are expected to be distributed this April.

Register of Copyrights Testifies on Copyright Office Modernization, Streaming Piracy and Music Modernization Act Implementation

On Tuesday, the Senate Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on Intellectual Property convened an oversight hearing of the U.S. Copyright Office featuring testimony from Karyn Temple, the Register of Copyrights and Director of the Copyright Office. Much of the hearing focused on the Office’s efforts to modernize its information technology infrastructure and business processes, although implementation of the recently passed Music Modernization Act (MMA) and new forms of digital piracy were also discussed.

Music Industry Groups Square Off Against Songwriters, Small Publishers in Mechanical Licensing Collective Battle

On October 11, the Orrin G. Hatch-Bob Goodlatte Music Modernization Act (MMA) was enacted into law after passing both the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives. The bill was drafted in order to modernize U.S. copyright law as it relates to the licensing of copyright protected music for use in digital streaming services such as Spotify or Apple Music. Such digital service providers (DSPs) may obtain a new kind of license created by the law, known as a blanket license, which covers the distribution of all musical works available for compulsory licensing. DSPs may then make these works available to consumers through covered activities, such as delivering digital phonorecords of musical works available in the form of a permanent download, a limited download or as an interactive stream.In short, the blanket license under the MMA allows Spotify and others to offer streaming music services without having to negotiate licenses with copyright-owning entities, including recording studios and songwriters. Instead, these streaming services would obtain a blanket license from the Mechanical Licensing Collective (MLC), another new feature of the MMA. The MLC is a non-profit entity responsible for administering blanket licenses to DSPs, collecting and distributing royalties, enabling copyright owners to claim ownership of musical works and administering a process by which royalties for works with unidentified owners are equitably distributed to known copyright owners. The statutory language of the MMA directs the Register of Copyrights to designate the membership of the MLC within 270 days of enactment of the law. Given the date on which the MMA was enacted, this would indicate that July 8 of this year is the deadline for Register of Copyrights Karyn Temple to designate the MLC that would start administering blanket licenses at the beginning of 2021. There are two groups that have proposed their own membership of the MLC to the Copyright Office: a coalition of major publishers from the music industry, including the National Music Publishers Association (NMPA), Songwriters of North America (SONA) and Nashville Songwriters Association International (NSAI); and the American Music Licensing Collective (AMLC), a collection of songwriters, musicians, tech developers and executives from smaller rights organizations and publishers within the music industry.

Meet the Democrats of the 116th House IP Subcommittee

With congress out of session this week, it is a good time to meet the members of the House Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on Courts, Intellectual Property, and the Internet, which—unlike the Senate IP Subcommittee—has not yet convened this term. While the House may be largely preoccupied with issues outside the IP realm thus far, other House committees and subcommittees have been actively debating a number of topics relevant to IP. The 116th Congress brings both new and old faces to the Subcommittee with varying levels of IP knowledge and activity. Many of its members, such as Hakeem Jeffries and Zoe Lofgren, are well-versed in IP issues, starting with the full Judiciary Committee Chairman, Jerrold Nadler.

Up and Running: Senate IP Subcommittee Debates USPTO Oversight After Setting Ambitious Agenda in February

Today, March 13, the Senate Subcommittee on Intellectual Property met to discuss “Oversight of the United States Patent and Trademark Office,” with USPTO Director Andrei Iancu as the sole witness. IPWatchdog will report the details of that hearing in full, but in the meantime it is worth reviewing what the Subcommittee covered in its first hearing, held February 26, which included the report of the Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator (IPEC) on the findings of the IPEC’s Annual Intellectual Property Report. While the hearing was nominally about the IPEC report, comments made and questions raised by Subcommittee members throughout the course of the hearing made it clear that the Subcommittee intends to play an important role in the debate around IP and patent law during the 116th Congress.

Copyright Office Seeks Mechanical Licensing Collective Members

The U.S. Copyright Office recently published a Notice in the Federal Register regarding Title I of the Orrin G. Hatch – Bob Goodlatte Music Modernization Act (MMA). This section of the law created a new blanket licensing system that governs the licensed uses of musical works by digital music providers. In this recent notice, the Copyright Office is seeking input to identify entities which are appropriate for inclusion in the Mechanical Licensing Collective (MLC) that will manage the new blanket licensing system.

What Mattered in 2018: Industry Insiders Reflect on the Biggest Moments in IP

There is near unanimity that the Supreme Court’s decisions in Oil States Energy v. Greene’s Energy Group, 138 S.Ct. 1365 (2018) was among the most significant events of the year. Several also point to the Federal Circuit’s decisions in Berkheimer v. HP Inc., 881 F.3d 1360 (Fed. Cir. 2018) and Aatrix Software v. Green Shades Software, 882 F.3d 1121 (Fed. Cir. 2018), the impact Director Iancu has had on the USPTO and the patent system, and Congress passing the The Music Modernization Act. Beyond those events, there were others identified by this diverse panel that might have gone unnoticed if we were to focus only on the top-line events of the year.

Musically Inclined: The Music Modernization Act of 2018

When Congress permitted sound recordings to be copyrighted over four decades ago, it didn’t extend that coverage to pre-1972 recordings. This issue, and the piecemeal nature of licensing for digital music on a per-work, per song basis, were part of the impetus for the stakeholders in the music industry to work together to create the Music Modernization Act, signed into law on October 11, 2018… Not all issues in the music industry were solved by the Music Modernization Act: licensing of physical sound recordings (vinyl and CDs) will still occur on a per-work, per song basis. Terrestrial radio pays songwriters and publishers royalties for playing music, but it doesn’t pay performance or sound-recording royalties. And while the goal of one public database is laudable, the responsibility still lies with songwriters and publishers to submit copyright applications and to submit all of their musical works and sound recordings to the MLC… While there is still work to be done, the Music Modernization Act does solve some long-standing issues in the music industry.

Compromise on Music Modernization Act Leads to Unconditional Support From Music Industry Organizations

A collection of trade organizations representing music publishers and songwriters recently released a joint statement in which all announced unconditional support for S.2823, the Music Modernization Act (MMA). These organizations include SESAC, the National Music Publishers’ Association (NMPA), the Nashville Songwriters Association International (NSAI) and the Songwriters of North America (SONA). The support of the bill from these collective entities comes after an amendment to the act designed to improve private competition in the market for music licensing after a contentious period of negotiating that amendment.

The Music Modernization Act is Introduced Into U.S. House, Would Create Blanket Licenses for Streaming Music Services

a bipartisan group of Representatives serving on the House Judiciary Committee introduced the Music Modernization Act (H.R. 5447) into the U.S. House of Representatives. Along with broad political support, the Music Modernization Act reportedly has wide support among both song creators and distribution platforms within the industry. The bill, which would enact the largest changes to U.S. music copyright law in 20 years if passed, also incorporates elements of other music copyright laws which have been introduced but failed to pass in recent years.

Increasing Fairness For Independent Songwriters By Improving The Music Modernization Act

As advocates for all music creators, including independent songwriters, we have endorsed the Music Modernization Act, along with other organizations spanning the music industry, as part of a package of important reforms that will better the lives of people who make music for a living and strengthen the music economy overall.