Music industry turning up D.C. volume in copyright war

By Alex Byers As parts of Washington start to examine the country’s tricky song licensing system, the music industry is getting ready to turn its D.C. outreach up to 11. From Hollywood to Nashville to New York, the varied constituencies in the music world — songwriters, recording artists, record labels and music publishers — are starting to launch new public affairs and lobbying campaigns, which come amid continued fights with online radio stations like Pandora. The diverse industry camps have not always been united on what rules need to change to address copyright loopholes, and whether they’re able to send a cohesive message will be a deciding factor as to the effort’s success on Capitol Hill. It can be difficult for copyright issues to gain traction among lawmakers, especially after the 2012 backlash over the Stop Online Piracy Act. But the confluence of three Washington proceedings this year is too big an opportunity for the music industry to pass up. “What you’re seeing is barely a curtain-raiser,” said Ted Kalo, executive director of the MusicFIRST Coalition, which advocates for higher performance royalties for songwriters and musicians and includes the Recording Industry Association of America as a member. “We’re just getting started.” The House Judiciary Committee’s review of copyright law is stretching into its second year, with music licensing issues — whether radio stations should have to pay new royalties to play songs over the air, for instance — likely to be addressed. At least one hearing on the issue is expected this year. Read the full article here:

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