Senate Introduces Music Modernization Act â€” 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 â€” The Copyright Office’s Frances Carden writes, “The buzz around here has been bigâ€“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 Officeâ€“and itâ€™s getting bigger and bolder.”
Invisible Labor and Digital Utopias â€” “As a woman who writes online about technology, I have grown far too tired of ‘permission-less-ness.’ Because ‘open’ doesnâ€™t just mean using my work for free without asking. It actually often means demanding I do more work â€“ 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 Iâ€™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 â€“ on invisible work, on unvalued work. Whose digital utopia does ‘openness’ represent?”
Music as a Matter of Law â€” “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 eraâ€™s dominant aesthetic view identifying melody as the site of originality and, consequently, the litmus test for similarity. Surprisingly, musicâ€™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.”