[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
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.
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
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
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
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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