Copyright Office Announces Music Licensing Study

Authors: Margaret A. Esquenet, Eleanor B. Atkins

The Copyright Office announced that it is undertaking a study to assess the efficacy of current music licensing schemes in light of technological innovations in music distribution. Currently, music licenses are largely statutory, based on sections 112,114, and 115 of the Copyright Act. Recognizing that the public now accesses music in a myriad of media, including physical albums, internet-based streaming via wireless devices, and through terrestrial and satellite radio and via a variety of platforms (television, movies, apps, video games), the Copyright Office is reviewing the benefits and drawbacks of the current system.

The Copyright Office will hold public meetings and solicit public comments during the course of the study and will ultimately use the information to make a report to Congress. The comment submission period ends May 16, 2014. To see the Federal Register announcement, please visit

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