Copyright Office Studying Music Licensing

As the House Judiciary Committee continues to review the Copyright Act, the U.S. Copyright Office has launched a new study on “the effectiveness of existing methods of licensing music.”  The agency is soliciting public comment on the subject and it also intends to hold public meetings as it gathers input for use in a report to Congress.  Notably, in its official Notice of Inquiry, the agency points out in a footnote, “The Copyright Office has long supported the extension of the public performance right in sound recordings to broadcast radio.”

NRB opposes efforts to impose a burdensome new performance tax on religious broadcasters.  Musicians receive free airplay by radio, boosting recognition and sales of their work. However, advertisers, sponsors, and program syndicators pay for placement on radio because of the substantive benefits they receive from over-the-air (OTA) carriage. The demonstrable value of radio airtime is ignored by many advocates of a new OTA performance tax.

By Aaron Mercer, Vice President of Government Relations

Published: March 28, 2014