United States Copyright Office (2015a)

From Copyright EVIDENCE

Advertising Architectural Publishing of books, periodicals and other publishing Programming and broadcasting Computer programming Computer consultancy Creative, arts and entertainment Cultural education

Film and motion pictures Sound recording and music publishing Photographic activities PR and communication Software publishing (including video games) Specialised design Television programmes Translation and interpretation

1. Relationship between protection (subject matter/term/scope) and supply/economic development/growth/welfare 2. Relationship between creative process and protection - what motivates creators (e.g. attribution; control; remuneration; time allocation)? 3. Harmony of interest assumption between authors and publishers (creators and producers/investors) 4. Effects of protection on industry structure (e.g. oligopolies; competition; economics of superstars; business models; technology adoption) 5. Understanding consumption/use (e.g. determinants of unlawful behaviour; user-generated content; social media)

A. Nature and Scope of exclusive rights (hyperlinking/browsing; reproduction right) B. Exceptions (distinguish innovation and public policy purposes; open-ended/closed list; commercial/non-commercial distinction) C. Mass digitisation/orphan works (non-use; extended collective licensing) D. Licensing and Business models (collecting societies; meta data; exchanges/hubs; windowing; crossborder availability) E. Fair remuneration (levies; copyright contracts) F. Enforcement (quantifying infringement; criminal sanctions; intermediary liability; graduated response; litigation and court data; commercial/non-commercial distinction; education and awareness)

Source Details

United States Copyright Office (2015a)
Title: Copyright and the Music Marketplace
Author(s): United States Copyright Office
Year: 2015
Citation: Copyright and the Music Marketplace, United States Copyright Office (2015), available at http://copyright.gov/docs/musiclicensingstudy/copyright-and-the-music-marketplace.pdf.
Link(s): Definitive , Open Access
Key Related Studies:
Discipline:
Linked by:
About the Data
Data Description: In 2014, 84 individuals, music management companies, legal organisations, and other interested parties responded to the First Notice of Inquiry and 51 to the Second Notice of Inquiry while 78 stakeholders attended roundtables in Los Angeles, New York, and Nashville.
Data Type: Primary data
Secondary Data Sources:
Data Collection Methods:
Data Analysis Methods:
Industry(ies):
Country(ies):
Cross Country Study?: No
Comparative Study?: No
Literature review?: No
Government or policy study?: No
Time Period(s) of Collection:
  • 2014
Funder(s):
  • United States Copyright Office

Abstract

The United States has the most innovative and influential music culture in the world, but much of the legal framework for licensing of music dates back to the early part of the twentieth century, long before the digital revolution in music. Our licensing system is founded on a view that the music marketplace requires a unique level of government regulation, much of it reflected in statutory licensing provisions of the Copyright Act. The Copyright Office believes that the time is ripe to question the existing paradigm for the licensing of musical works and sound recordings and consider meaningful change.

There is a widespread perception that our licensing system is broken. Songwriters and recording artists are concerned that they cannot make a living under the existing structure, which raises serious and systemic concerns for the future. Music publishers and performance rights organizations are frustrated that so much of their licensing activity is subject to government control, so they are constrained in the marketplace. Record labels and digital services complain that the licensing process is burdensome and inefficient, making it difficult to innovate.

While there is general consensus that the system needs attention, there is less agreement as to what should be done. In this report, after reviewing the existing framework and stakeholders’ views, the Copyright Office offers a series of guiding principles and preliminary recommendations for change. The Office’s proposals are meant to be contemplated together, rather than individually. With this approach, the Office seeks to present a series of balanced tradeoffs among the interested parties to create a fairer, more efficient, and more rational system for all.

Main Results of the Study

The Copyright Office appreciates and agrees with the four grounding principles that were articulated by many during the course of this study, as discussed above. These are:

  • Music creators should be fairly compensated for their contributions;
  • The licensing process should be more efficient;
  • Market participants should have access to authoritative data to identify and license sound recordings and musical works;
  • Usage and payment information should be transparent and accessible to rightsowners.

As much as there may be consensus on these points, however, the opposite could be said of stakeholders’ views as to how best to achieve them. Having considered the plethora of issues that plague our current licensing system—and how they might practically be addressed—the Office has identified some additional principles that it believes should also guide any process of reform. These are:

  • Government licensing processes should aspire to treat like uses of music alike;
  • Government supervision should enable voluntary transactions while still supporting collective solutions;
  • Ratesetting and enforcement of antitrust laws should be separately managed and addressed;
  • A single, market‐oriented ratesetting standard should apply to all music uses under statutory licenses.

Policy Implications as Stated By Author

The report suggests a thorough restructuring of the music licensing system by congressional legislation, a Copyright Office review of the system several years following implementation, and a narrowing or expansion (particularly of 'opt-out' rights) into other areas of copyright protection, depending on the marketplace effect. The report recommends broad legislative reform with ample regulatory flexibility.

Coverage of Study

Coverage of Fundamental Issues
Issue Included within Study
Relationship between protection (subject matter/term/scope) and supply/economic development/growth/welfare
Green-tick.png
Relationship between creative process and protection - what motivates creators (e.g. attribution; control; remuneration; time allocation)?
Green-tick.png
Harmony of interest assumption between authors and publishers (creators and producers/investors)
Effects of protection on industry structure (e.g. oligopolies; competition; economics of superstars; business models; technology adoption)
Green-tick.png
Understanding consumption/use (e.g. determinants of unlawful behaviour; user-generated content; social media)
Coverage of Evidence Based Policies
Issue Included within Study
Nature and Scope of exclusive rights (hyperlinking/browsing; reproduction right)
Exceptions (distinguish innovation and public policy purposes; open-ended/closed list; commercial/non-commercial distinction)
Mass digitisation/orphan works (non-use; extended collective licensing)
Green-tick.png
Licensing and Business models (collecting societies; meta data; exchanges/hubs; windowing; crossborder availability)
Green-tick.png
Fair remuneration (levies; copyright contracts)
Green-tick.png
Enforcement (quantifying infringement; criminal sanctions; intermediary liability; graduated response; litigation and court data; commercial/non-commercial distinction; education and awareness)

Datasets

Sample size: 313
Level of aggregation: Stakeholders
Period of material under study: 2014