NewsNet 818: U.S. Copyright Office Issues Three Notices of Proposed Rulema king and One Notification of Inquiry Related to the Music Modernization Act

by John Roberts on April 22, 2020

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NewsNet 818
April 22, 2020

U.S. Copyright Office Issues Three Notices of Proposed Rulemaking and One Notification of Inquiry Related to the Music Modernization Act

Pursuant to the Musical Works Modernization Act, title I of the Orrin G. Hatch–Bob Goodlatte Music Modernization Act (MMA), the Copyright Office has issued three notices of proposed rulemaking and one notification of inquiry.

The MMA directs the Office to adopt a number of regulations to govern the new blanket licensing regime, including regulations regarding notices of license, notices of nonblanket activity, usage reports and adjustments, information to be included in the mechanical licensing collective’s database, database usability, interoperability and usage restrictions, and the handling of confidential information.

After soliciting public comments through a September 2019 notification of inquiry, the Office is now issuing:

  • A proposed rule regarding notices of license, data collection efforts, reports of usage and payment by digital music providers and related records of use, notices of nonblanket activity and reports of usage by significant nonblanket licensees, and data collection efforts by musical work copyright owners. The proposed rule and instructions on how to submit a comment are available here. Written comments must be received no later than May 22, 2020, at 11:59 p.m. eastern time.
  • A proposed rule regarding the obligations of the mechanical licensing collective (MLC) to report and distribute royalties paid by digital music providers under the blanket license to make and distribute digital phonorecord deliveries of musical works to musical work copyright owners. The rule does not address the distribution of unmatched royalties after the prescribed holding period, which the Copyright Office will separately address, including through an ongoing policy study. The proposed rule and instructions on how to submit a comment are available here. Written comments must be received no later than May 22, 2020, at 11:59 p.m. eastern time.
  • A proposed rule to define “confidential information” and propose various categories of permitted disclosure and use of confidential information by MLC employees, board and committee members of the MLC and digital licensee coordinator (DLC) (and members’ respective places of employment), and vendors and agents of the MLC and DLC. The proposed rule and instructions on how to submit a comment are available here. Written comments must be received no later than June 8, 2020, at 11:59 p.m. eastern time.
  • A notification of inquiry seeking additional input regarding issues related to ensuring appropriate transparency of the MLC, as well as the contents of the collective’s public musical work database, database access, and database use. The notification of inquiry and instructions on how to submit a comment are available here. Written comments must be received no later than June 8, 2020, at 11:59 p.m. eastern time.

In light of the MMA’s statutory deadlines, the Office does not anticipate extending the deadline for public comments in these rulemakings.

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