[JPL] Perform Act introduced today

JazzCorner at aol.com JazzCorner at aol.com
Wed Apr 26 17:42:35 EDT 2006


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:                       
Contact:          Howard Gantman 
or Scott Gerber 202/224-9629 
                                                                              
                              http://feinstein.senate.gov 
  
Senators Feinstein, Graham Introduce Legislation to Require Cable, Internet, 
Satellite Music Broadcasters to Protect Digital Music, Allow Consumers to 
Continue to Record, Replay Programming
  
  
Washington, DC – U.S. Senators Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) and Lindsey Graham 
(R-S.C.) introduced legislation today to require cable, satellite and 
Internet music providers to protect music they broadcast while at the same time 
allowing consumers to continue to record and replay programming.   
  
The Feinstein-Graham “PERFORM Act” or the “Platform Equality and Remedies 
for Rights Holders in Music Act of 2006” would require satellite, cable and 
Internet broadcasters to pay fair market value for the performance of digital 
music. Additionally, the bill would require the use of readily available and 
cost-effective technological means to prevent music theft. 
  
As such, the PERFORM Act would help strike a balance between the promotion of 
technological advances in digital music delivery systems and the protection 
of and fair compensation for the intellectual property of musicians. 
  
“The birth of the digital music place has been a boon for businesses and 
consumers.  However, these new technologies and business models have become so 
advanced that the clear lines between a listening service and a distribution 
service have been blurred,” Senator Feinstein said. “I believe that the PERFORM 
Act would help strike a balance between fostering the development of new 
technologies and ensuring that songwriters and performers continue to be fairly 
compensated for their works. This legislation is a good first step forward in 
addressing a real problem that is occurring in the music industry.” 
  
A hearing on the future of the digital radio industry will be held by the 
Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday, April 26 at 9:30 A.M.  Senators 
Feinstein and Graham are members of the Committee. 
  
Background 
  
Historically, a radio service simply allowed music to be performed and 
listened to by an audience.  However, with the advent of new music services, the 
line between passive listening performances and reproduction and distribution has 
been blurred.   
  
Recently, some services that offer digital transmissions have been exploring 
new technologies that would allow consumers to record, manipulate, and collect 
personalized music play-lists off their radio-like services instead of buying 
a CD or a downloaded song.   
  
Senators Feinstein and Graham believe that these new forms of music delivery 
systems are beneficial for the consumer and should be promoted. They also 
believe, however, that as these new systems are developed, artists and songwriters 
must also be fairly compensated for their works. 
  
The Feinstein-Graham PERFORM Act would: 
  
·        Create Rate Parity – all cable, satellite, and internet companies 
should be subject to the same rates (these companies, covered by the government 
license created in Section 114 of the Copyright Act, would be required to pay 
a “fair market value” for the reproduction and copying of digital music.) 
  
·        Establish Content Protection – distinguishing between the right to 
perform and the right to distribute (all companies would be required to use 
reasonably available and economically feasible technology to prevent music theft. 
 In addition, a company may not provide a recording device to a customer that 
would allow him or her to record and reproduce music without paying a 
reproduction royalty.) 
  
For example, if a listener chooses to automatically record a news station 
every morning at 9:00; a jazz station every afternoon at 2:00; a blues station 
every Friday at 3:00; and a talk radio show every Saturday at 4:00; that would 
be allowable.  In addition, that listener could then use their recording device 
to move these programs so that each program of the same genre are back to 
back. 
  
What a listener cannot do is set a recording device to find all the Frank 
Sinatra songs being played on the radio-service and only record those songs.  By 
making these distinctions, this bill supports new business models and 
technologies without harming the songwriters and performers in the process. The bill 
also contains language to make sure that consumers’ current recording habits 
are not inhibited.  Therefore, any recording the consumer chooses to do manually 
will still be allowed.   
However, the PERFORM Act would not: 
  
·        Apply to Over the Air Broadcasting – the only application to 
broadcasters would be if they were to act as webcasters and simulcast their programs 
over the Internet, in which case they would be treated the same as all other 
Internet radio providers. 
  
·        Inhibit Technological Advances – the bill would require cable, 
Internet and satellite providers to use reasonably available technology to protect 
the music, IF they want to enjoy the benefit of a government license.  If, 
however, a company wants to use new technologies beyond the scope of a government 
license then they must go to the record companies directly to negotiate a 
licensing agreement through the market. 
  
·        Be Discriminatory – under current law some businesses are required 
to pay higher licensing rates than others even though they provide essentially 
the same services.  In addition, if a new satellite company were to be formed 
today they would be required to pay a higher rate than the current two 
companies in the market – that is not fair.  Instead this bill would establish the 
same rates for all companies. 
  













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