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[ EEPI-Discuss ] House panel OKs digital licensing bill

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Date: Fri, 9 Jun 2006 00:00:17 -0400
From: Monty Solomon 
Subject: House panel OKs digital licensing bill

House panel OKs digital licensing bill

By Anne Broache
Staff Writer, CNET News.com
Published: June 8, 2006, 6:10 PM PDT

A U.S. House of Representatives panel on Thursday approved a digital 
copyright bill that critics say could imperil home-use copying of 
music and video recording devices like TiVo.

The Section 115 Reform Act, or SIRA, introduced by Texas Republican 
Lamar Smith, attempts to overhaul a piece of copyright law that 
established a complex system of "mechanical royalties" for record 
companies, recording artists, songwriters and publishers in exchange 
for the right to reproduce and distribute their music.

There's a general consensus among politicians, the U.S. Copyright 
Office and the music industry that the law, first written in the era 
of piano music rolls, is in need of updates for a digital era. Right 
now, companies wishing to sell music have to negotiate separate 
licenses for each song's recording.

SIRA proposes establishing a "blanket licensing" system in which 
those entities would apply for and receive licenses through a 
one-stop shop. Established by the Copyright Office, that body would 
act as a representative for music publishing companies with the 
greatest share of the market.

Supporters of the bill argue that such an approach would make it 
easier for online music services to secure speedier approval for vast 
libraries of music, opening up the possibility for new market 
entrants, greater selection and lower prices.



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