Important Copyright Reform Discussion

In addition to the Grokster decision tomorrow, there’s a “hubbub” arising around proposed radical reforms to music licensing in the US. Ernest Miller has the legal angle, as well as Cathy Kirkman at The Silicon Valley Media Law Blog. This would have a profound effect on collecting societies like ASCAP/BMI, and includes repealing entirely the compulsory mechanical license. The “digital part”:

The proposed legislation provides that if an MRO (Music Rights Organization) grants a public performance license for digital audio transmissions, the grant also includes a mechanical license:

?to the extent that the exercise of such rights facilitates the public performance of the musical work?.

The MRO is required to grant this license for its entire repertoire. This does not mean, however, that an MRO or the copyright owner is required to grant a mechanical license for ?cover songs? on CDs and other non-Internet media.

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