Current and potential webcasters, take note of this:
- SUMMARY: The Copyright Office of the Library of Congress is requesting public comment on the adoption of regulations for records of use of
sound recordings performed pursuant to the statutory license for public performances of sound recordings by means of digital audio transmissions between October 28, 1998, and the effective date of soon-to-be-announced interim regulations.
DATES: Comments are due no later than November 24, 2003. Reply comments are due no later than December 22, 2003.
ADDRESSES: An original and five copies of any comment or reply comment shall be delivered by hand to: Office of the General Counsel, James Madison Memorial Building, Room LM-403, First and Independence Avenue, SE., Washington, DC 20559-6000; or mailed to: Copyright Arbitration Royalty Panel (CARP), PO Box 70977, Southwest Station, Washington, DC 20024-0977.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: David O. Carson, General Counsel, or William J. Roberts, Jr., Senior Attorney, PO Box 70977, Southwest Station, Washington, DC 20024. Telephone: (202) 707-8380; Telefax: (202) 252-3423.
The Copyright Act grants copyright owners of sound recordings the exclusive right to perform their works publicly by means of digital audio transmissions subject to certain limitations and exceptions.
Among the limitations placed on the performance of sound recordings is a statutory license that permits certain eligible subscription, nonsubscription, satellite digital audio radio, business establishment and new subscription services to perform those sound recordings publicly by means of digital audio transmissions. 17 U.S.C. 114.
Similarly, copyright owners of sound recordings are granted the exclusive right to make copies of their works subject to certain limitations and exceptions. Among the limitations placed on the reproduction of sound recordings is a statutory license that permits certain eligible subscription, nonsubscription, satellite digital audio, business establishment and new subscription services to make ephemeral copies of those sound recordings to facilitate their digital
transmission. 17 U.S.C. 112(e).
Both the section 114 and 112 licenses require services to, among other things, report to copyright owners of sound recordings on the use of their works. Both licenses direct the Librarian of Congress to establish regulations to give copyright owners reasonable notice of the use of their works and create and maintain records of use for delivery to copyright owners. 17 U.S.C. 114(f)(4)(A) and 17 U.S.C. 112(e)(4). The purpose of the exchange of data is to ensure that the royalties collected under the statutory licenses are distributed to the correct recipients.
The Copyright Office will soon be publishing interim regulations setting forth the categories of information that services making use of sound recordings under the statutory licenses must report. Those interim regulations will require services to identify performances of sound recordings that they transmit pursuant to the statutory license, providing information such as the titles of sound recordings that are transmitted, the names of the recording artists, etc. However, the interim regulations will be prospective in nature, meaning that they will not apply to the period from October 28, 1998, to the effective
date of the interim rules. Consequently, there are currently no regulations establishing the requirements for creating and reporting records of use for this earlier time period.\1\ While it is certain that many services have maintained few or, in many instances, no records of prior uses, a mechanism must be adopted to account for the performances that occurred during this period in order to distribute the royalty fees collected during this period. Thus, we seek public comment as to the form and content such regulations should take.