Category Law

Improving the Music Modernization Act

The Music Modernization Act (MMA) has been getting traction in the United States. It was introduced into the Senate two weeks ago, and it has become part of a larger package of music copyright legislation which has become known as the “Music Bus” bill. More and more organizations have announced their support for the MMA. Many […]

Music Modernization Act Proposes Single Solution to Mechanical Licensing Problem

The music industry’s licensing problems just got another proposed governmental solution, with last week’s introduction in Congress of the Music Modernization Act (MMA). The MMA is a bipartisan bill that would provide a blanket mechanical license and set up a collecting society to manage payments to composers and publishers. It aims to solve a particular […]

The Search for Leverage Against Sci-Hub (Updated)

I’m finally getting around to writing about Sci-Hub, the enormous and still-growing repository of scientific journal articles and academic papers that is often called “The Pirate Bay of Science.” The latest development in one of the lawsuits brought against the site in the United States finally brings a measure of technological interest to the legal […]

Could Lawsuit Settlements Be the Best Way to Solve Rights Data Problems?

Copyright owners have long been at odds with tech companies and service providers over copyright-related issues. We’ve seen various different attempts to solve these problems across industries since the start of the “copyright wars” in the late 1990s, enough to have some idea of what works and what doesn’t. In rough terms, there are four types […]

New Proposed Legislation Sets Up Showdown Over Online U.S. Music Rights Database

An effort is brewing in Washington to get an authoritative online database of music rights information built for the United States. It started last week as a bill called the Transparency in Music Licensing and Ownership Act. (It has neither a catchy acronym nor even a bill number at this time of writing, so we’ll just call […]

Copyright Office Releases Results of Section 1201 Study

Late last month, the United States Copyright Office published the results of a study on Section 1201 (17 U.S.C. § 1201), the section of U.S. copyright law that makes it a violation to hack DRM systems and other content access and copy controls. Section 1201 was enacted in 1998 as part of the Digital Millennium […]

Proposed Settlement in Spotify Lawsuit Points the Way Towards Solving Music Industry Data Problems

One of the biggest unsolved problems in the music business today is the lack of authoritative mapping between music recordings and the compositions they embody. When music people talk about the industry’s “database problem,” this is a big part of it. In the past, the industry has managed to work around it in various ad […]