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Copyright.gov music licensing study closes September 12, 2014

WASHINGTON - JULY 12: The Senate Judiciary Committee Subcommittee on Intellectual Property holds a hearing on 'Music Licensing Reform' July 12, 2005 on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC.
WASHINGTON - JULY 12: The Senate Judiciary Committee Subcommittee on Intellectual Property holds a hearing on 'Music Licensing Reform' July 12, 2005 on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC.
Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

In light of the rapidly-changing world of technology, the federal government decided to open its ears (or interface) to comments from the public regarding the effectiveness of present music licensing laws. The United States Copyright Office, a division within the Library of Congress, is considering changes to present copyright laws based on changing technology, which Congress states that they could not have foreseen. After all, even the modern version of the Copyright Act, penned in 1976, was prior to the vast reach and popularity of video games and the internet.

The study focuses on music licensing and present laws, which have been largely useful for the majority of licensing needs. The copyright website states, "The mechanisms for obtaining such licenses are largely shaped by our copyright law, including the statutory licenses under Sections 112, 114, and 115 of the Copyright Act, which provide government-regulated licensing regimes for certain uses of sound recordings and musical works."

In addition to the present reporting mechanism, 3 roundtable discussions were held. One of the discussion occurred locally at the UCLA School of Law. Others occurred in Nashville and in New York City, other well-known centers in the music industry. Transcripts from these 3 discussion groups are available online, and may be useful to read before submitted comments.

If you, as a musician, have anything which you feel is important to contribute to the discussion, please visit http://copyright.gov/docs/musiclicensingstudy/ to enter your comments. Select comments will be submitted to Congress for consideration. Other than checking out the Copyright website, Wikipedia provides a solid basic introduction.