Late on Friday, October 21, news broke that Maria Pallante, who had served as Register of Copyrights at the United States Copyright Office had been removed from her post, and reassigned as a special advisor to the Library of Congress on digital strategy. The move was made by newly confirmed Librarian of Congress Dr. Carla Hayden, who assumed her new role just six weeks ago.
It’s no overstatement to say that this news has been greeted with surprise, dismay, and a certain measure of panic from creator groups. It’s important to understand where this fear comes from, at a time when many changes to copyright law and to the copyright office itself are under consideration. The implications for musicians and composers of all scales and genres—from DIY upstarts to veteran hitmakers—could be massive.
Today, the United States Copyright Office released Copyright and the Music Marketplace, the result of last year’s Music Licensing Study—a project that combined roundtables in various cities with opportunities for written comments from stakeholders and the public. (FMC participated in the roundtables and official docket; see our initial comments here; reply comments here.)
There’s so much in the 245-page report that it’s impossible to offer a full breakdown of the recommendations in a single blog post. In fact, we’re still making our way through it, but the Executive Summary provides an overview of many of the key provisions. We certainly respect the effort it took to produce such a detailed report, and commend Register of Copyrights Maria A. Pallante for taking the initiative with such a thorny and complex issue set.
Judiciary Subcommittee on Courts, The Internet, & Intellectual Property
Sunday, July 20, 2014
FMC has been closely monitoring the Subcommittee’s ongoing review of the Copyright Act, with special attention to musicians’ needs and perspectives. Here’s a chronology of events so far, with links to our coverage and commentary, along with video of the archived hearings.
On Monday March 4th, US Register of Copyrights MariaPallantedelivered a speech at Columbia Law School entitled “The Next Great Copyright Act.” Her remarks drew immediate attention within the creative communities and beyond — after all, it’s not every day that the nation’s top official on copyright calls for Congress to overhaul existing law.