As the US government conducts the first comprehensive analysis of the the entire US Copyright Act in over 40 years, this may be the right time to take a deeper look at each of the four entities currently in charge of this review. How have these institutions adapted themselves to the fast-changing musical landscape, increasingly shaped by technological changes over the years? We should bear in mind that the Copyright Act was enacted in 1976, and that its last major amendment – the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) – was enacted in 1998.
Did you know that, in the US, the music industry is highly regulated by the federal
government? This is where it becomes necessary to get better acquainted with the four abovementioned entities:
1. The U.S. Copyright Office;
2. The House of Representatives Judiciary Committee and the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Courts, Intellectual Property and the Internet;
3. The U.S. Department of Justice;
4. The Department of Commerce Internet Policy Task Force, spearheaded by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.
What are their respective roles, and what are the current major developments in the legislative arena? In other words, what does the future hold for music copyright law in the US?
This exclusive white paper was written by Dina LaPolt, entertainment attorney at LaPolt Law (US), an entertainment law firm that specialises in representing clients in the music, film, television, merchandising and book publishing industries. It provides a perfect background reading for the copyright panels at Midem (June 5-8), developed in association with the International Association of Entertainment Lawyers (IAEL).
Top photo via Shutterstock – Guzel Studio