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Senate passes copyright bill to end 140-year protection for old songs (US)

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Senate passes copyright bill to end 140-year protection for old songs (US)

Postby MrFredPFL » Thu Sep 20, 2018 9:47 pm

Story :

For the last decade, the Congressional debate over copyright law has been in a stalemate. Content companies have pushed for stronger protections, but their efforts have been stopped by a coalition of technology companies and digital rights groups.

But on Tuesday, we saw a rare moment of bipartisan and trans-industry harmony on copyright law, as the Senate unanimously passed the Music Modernization Act, a bill that creates a streamlined process for online services to license music and federalizes America's bizarre patchwork of state laws governing music recorded before 1972. That will mean effectively shortening the term of protection of older music published between 1923 and 1954—under current law, these songs may not fall into the public domain until 2067.

The bill managed to get the support of several groups that are normally at each others' throats: music publishers, record labels, songwriters, major technology companies, and digital rights groups.

The bill isn't perfect, but Public Knowledge—a digital rights group that usually opposes legislation sponsored by big content companies—gave the bill its endorsement, describing it as a "significant step forward for music consumers and fans."

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