Senate Introduces Music Modernization Act — Two weeks after the House passed its version of the bill 415-0, the Senate has introduced the Music Modernization Act, a legislative package of critical music licensing reforms. The Senate Judiciary Committee is holding a hearing on the issues next Tuesday, with Smokey Robinson among the witnesses.
Copyright Office Invites Creative Solutions — The Copyright Office’s Frances Carden writes, “The buzz around here has been big–you may remember my April post about the establishment of the Copyright Modernization Office (CMO) that directs all modernization initiatives across the U.S. Copyright Office–and it’s getting bigger and bolder.”
Invisible Labor and Digital Utopias — “As a woman who writes online about technology, I have grown far too tired of ‘permission-less-ness.’ Because ‘open’ doesn’t just mean using my work for free without asking. It actually often means demanding I do more work – justify my decisions, respond to accusations, and constantly rethink how and where I want to be and am able to be and work on the Internet. So I’ve been thinking a lot, as I said, about ‘permissions’ and ‘openness.’ I have increasingly come to wonder if ‘permission-less-ness’ as many in ‘open’ movements have theorized this, is built on some unexamined exploitation and extraction of labor – on invisible work, on unvalued work. Whose digital utopia does ‘openness’ represent?”
Music as a Matter of Law — “What is a musical work? Philosophers debate it, but for judges the answer has long been simple: music means melody. Though few recognize it today, that answer goes all the way back to the birth of music copyright litigation in the nineteenth century. Courts adopted the era’s dominant aesthetic view identifying melody as the site of originality and, consequently, the litmus test for similarity. Surprisingly, music’s single-element test has persisted as an anomaly within the modern copyright system, where multiple features of eligible subject matter typically are eligible for protection.”