Main | Friday, February 06, 2015

Proposed Copyright Law Change Could End Streaming & Downloads Of Cover Versions

Via Billboard Magazine:
On Thursday morning, the U.S. Copyright Office released a 245-page review of the music licensing regime with some bold proposals. It's not beach reading season, though, so it's understandable why the tome hasn't triggered a mass frenzy just yet. But wait! The government has just suggested a change that would make it possible for Taylor Swift not only to forbid her own works from appearing on Spotify, but stop those covering her there too. Specifically, the Copyright Office recommends that songwriters or their publishers still won't be able to stop cover songs in certain formats — presumably physical compact discs, broadcast radio and live concerts — but could stop covers from being posted on interactive (otherwise known as on-demand) sites or download sites. (The proposal might also give a non-interactive site like Pandora one advantage over Spotify.)
In 2011 famous control freak Prince declared that any covering of his songs without permission should be illegal. Prince: "That doesn't exist in any other art form, be it books, movies. There's only one version of Law & Order. There's several versions of Kiss and Purple Rain." Millions of YouTube's music clips are cover versions and its unclear if the original artist would have to take action to have them removed.

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