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Copyright Office asks cold hard cash questions in music inquiry

The Copyright Office’s Library of Congress has launched a new Notice of Inquiry on the “effectiveness of existing methods of licensing music,” an issue dear to the heart of pretty much everybody invested in any kind of music distribution system, from AM/FM radio to Sirius XM to iTunes.

“The Office will use the information it gathers to report to Congress,” the Notice says, which is doing its own review. The LOC posts 24 questions to the public, four of which appear under the title “Revenues and Investment.” Here they are:

“18. How have developments in the music marketplace affected the income of songwriters, composers, and recording artists?
19. Are revenues attributable to the performance and sale of music fairly divided between creators and distributors of musical works and sound recordings?
20. In what ways are investment decisions by creators, music publishers, and record labels, including the investment in the development of new projects and talent, impacted by music licensing issues?
21. How do licensing concerns impact the ability to invest in new distribution models?”

I think the above quartet of questions encompass just about every copyright brouhaha I’ve posted on over the past decade. Here’s betting that broadcasters will have plenty to say about question 19; Pandora will speak to question 21; labels and musicians will massively chime in on questions 18 and 19; and a slew of music sharing developers will give question 20 a poke.

You can weigh in on these matters yourself. Here’s the comment submission form. Feedback is due by May 16, 2014.



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