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Copyright Office Releases Exhaustive Report on Music Licensing

Music Licensing

The U.S. Copyright Office (USCO) has released a report entitled "Copyright and the Music Marketplace.” The report provides a detailed analysis of the basics of music copyright and licensing rules, identifies challenges in the current system and makes recommendations for improvement. The USCO started the research for the report in February 2014 and gathered input from music industry participants and end users through an exhaustive public comment and hearings process.

A leading observation of the report is that while the American music culture is among the most influential in the world, "...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." The perception and general consensus, according to the report, is that the current system does not function well and change is needed; however, what that change should be is up for debate. The report makes numerous recommendations for change within the current system, including the licensing of public performances of musical works.

There is interest in Congress to do some form of copyright reform which would include music licensing. Whether there is time on the legislative calendar or space among competing policy priorities is yet to be determined. Should legislation move in the Congress the apartment industry will be part of the process voicing our perspective and concerns.


 NAA Senior Vice President Greg Brown