Last Friday, Public Knowledge and the Consumer Federation of America filed comments in response to the Copyright Office's Notice of Inquiry on music licensing.
The following can be attributed to Jodie Griffin, Senior Staff Attorney and Public Knowledge:
“A healthy and competitive online music marketplace benefits both listeners and musicians. But currently certain bottlenecks in licensing the copyrights for compositions and sound recordings can impose a tax on innovation in the music licensing space. Public Knowledge urges the Copyright Office to consider tools likes sustainable statutory licenses and reasonable collective licensing to encourage new market entrants while ensuring artists are compensated for their work.”
The following can be attributed to Mark Cooper, Research Director at Consumer Federation of America:
“In our comments we draw a number of lessons from the the 2nd Circuit ruling in Pandora v. ASCAP that are directly relevant to the Copyright Office study. Examination of the real world behavior of the music publishers, when they thought they were no longer subject to the antitrust consent decrees, as demonstrated in makes it clear that dominant firms in the music sector still have the incentive and ability to abuse their market power. ”
- Antitrust oversight is vital to the functioning of a mass market in music.
- There is a continuing need for mass market licenses.
- The blatant abuse of market power means negotiations between “Willing Buyers and Willing Sellers” is not possible.
- The monopoly power of copyright gives the rights holders the ability to dominate, control or extinguish new distribution models.
- Excessive royalties for the sound recording rights held by the music labels undermines the viability of Internet-based radio.
- Excessive royalties for the sound recording rights held by the music labels creates an imbalance between labels and publishers.
A link to the filing can be found here.
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