Copyright Czar Wants To Make A Big Change To Copyright Law

from the didn't-see-this-coming dept

The official Register of Copyrights for the US, Marybeth Peters, has shown a history of always pushing much stricter copyright laws that would, in many ways, clamp down on innovation in the creative space. Often, it's seemed like she didn't really understand the unintended consequences of what she was promoting -- but just wanted to lock down everything as much as possible. That's why it's surprised a ton of people this morning to find out that Peters is suddenly advocating a major change in copyright law, getting rid of the compulsory license for mechanical reproduction rights. There's a lot of open discussion on whether or not this is a good or bad thing -- and the feeling seems to be that it could go both ways. The unintended consequences of such a move aren't entirely clear, but it's generating plenty of discussion. On a first pass look, it sounds like Peters is getting some of it right, and some of it wrong. It is important to overhaul parts of existing copyright law in order to have the law better reflect what the technology allows. However, the proposal today seems like a partial step, rather than a complete look at solving issues across the board. That means that the changes seem likely to just shift the problems elsewhere, rather than really solve them. However, considering that no one was really discussing changing copyright law at all, it seems like a good thing that the door has been opened.

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  1. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 23 Jun 2005 @ 2:36am

    Re: what does this mean?

    "To clarify here, though, BMI/ASCAP/SESAC don't have anything to do with publishing rights..."

    I don't think parent article suggests that. The paragraph referencing ASCAP,et al, is about performance rights and explcitly states:

    "The band or promoter may negotiate directly with me or may check with one of the songwriter/composer societies (BMI, ASCAP or SESAC) to see if I have authorized one of them to handle the performance rights for the song."


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