Category United States

Smart Speakers Are Table Radios for the Digital Age

One of the big holiday gift choices this year is likely to be smart speakers, such as Amazon Echos and Google Homes. Here’s the funny thing about smart speakers: while everyone was getting excited — or worried — about them as home shopping devices or yet another way for tech companies to spy on users, […]

Copyright Office to Give Updates at January Conference

The U.S. Copyright Office has been involved in two important initiatives related to copyright and technology — and they’re going to talk about them at our next conference in NYC on January 16. Last month the USCO completed its latest rulemaking on exemptions to the law prohibiting circumvention of technical protection measures — e.g., hacks […]

Music Modernization Act Loses Opportunity to Clean Up Music Industry Data

Last week the U.S. House of Representatives voted unanimously to adopt the Senate’s modified version of the Music Modernization Act (MMA). It’s expected to become law with the President’s signature imminently. The bill’s trip from the House to the Senate had several twists and turns, with parties such as Blackstone Group (controlling owners of the […]

Music Modernization Act Draws Concerns About Mechanical Licensing Agency

The Copyright Society of the USA’s Annual Meeting took place over the past couple of days in Toronto. One of the many interesting sessions was one on music licensing, where we from the U.S. got to learn that Canada has just as much of a “sausage factory” as we do when it comes to the […]

The Fifth Era of Recorded Music

The RIAA released its aggregated annual recorded music revenue numbers for the United States last month. They show that the industry has completed its transition to streaming — and more particularly, to interactive or on-demand streaming. Last year interactive streaming — a la Spotify, Apple Music, Google Play, Napster, Deezer, Tidal, etc. — turned in […]

Judge’s Ruling in Redbox Case Raises Concerns for Physical/Digital Content Bundles

A ruling from a California district judge last month impacts an area we explore here from time to time: when you purchase a digital content product, what rights do you have to that product, and are you buying it or licensing it? Judge Dean Pregerson’s recent ruling in Disney v. Redbox helps define the boundaries between sale and […]

March 20 Panel on Music Copyright Reform

I’ll be speaking on a panel on music copyright reform on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. on Tuesday, March 20, from noon-2pm, hosted by the Technology Policy Institute. The primary topic of conversation will be the Music Modernization Act (MMA), the bill that would establish a blanket mechanical license on musical compositions for streaming music services […]