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Proposed Rule

Mechanical and Digital Phonorecord Delivery Compulsory License

Document Details

Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

Published Document

This document has been published in the Federal Register. Use the PDF linked in the document sidebar for the official electronic format.

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AGENCY:

Copyright Office, Library of Congress.

ACTION:

Request for comment.

SUMMARY:

The Recording Industry of America, Inc. (“RIAA”), the National Music Publishers’ Association, Inc. (“NMPA”), and The Harry Fox Agency, Inc. (“HFA”), have submitted a joint statement to the Copyright Office to advise the Office of certain developments relevant to the Copyright Office's Notice of Inquiry regarding the interpretation and application of the mechanical and digital phonorecord compulsory license, 17 U.S.C. 115, to certain digital music services. The Copyright Office requests additional public comment on its Notice of Inquiry in light of the RIAA/NMPA/HFA agreement filed in this proceeding.

DATES:

Comments are due no later than January 28, 2002. Reply comments are due February 27, 2002.

ADDRESSES:

If sent by mail, an original and ten copies of comments and reply comments should be addressed to: Office of the Copyright General Counsel, P.O. Box 70977, Southwest Station, Washington, DC 20024. If hand delivered, an original and ten copies should be brought to: Office of the Copyright General Counsel, James Madison Memorial Building, Room LM-403, First and Independence Avenue, SE., Washington, DC 20540.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

David O. Carson, General Counsel, or Tanya M. Sandros, Senior Attorney, Copyright Arbitration Royalty Panels, P.O. Box 70977, Southwest Station, Washington, DC 20024. Telephone: (202) 707-8380. Telefax: (202) 252-3423.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

On March 9, 2001, the Copyright Office published a Notice of Inquiry requesting comments from the public concerning the interpretation and application of the copyright laws to certain kinds of digital transmissions of prerecorded musical works. 66 FR 14099 (March 9, 2001). Since that time, the Recording Industry of America, Inc. (“RIAA”), the National Music Publishers Association (“NMPA”) and The Harry Fox Agency, Inc. (“HFA”) have negotiated a private agreement which concerns the application of the mechanical compulsory license, as set forth in the Copyright Act, 17 U.S.C. 115, to “On-Demand Streams” and “Limited Downloads,” two services identified in the Notice of Inquiry. RIAA, NMPA and HFA publicly announced this agreement October 9, 2001.

In the March 9 Notice of Inquiry, an “On-Demand Stream” was defined as an “on-demand, real-time transmission using streaming technology such as Real Audio, which permits users to listen to the music they want when they want and as it is transmitted to them” and a “Limited Download” was defined as an “on-demand transmission of a time-limited or other use-limited (i.e. non-permanent) download to a local storage device (e.g., the hard drive of the user's computer), using technology that causes the downloaded file to be available for listening only either during a limited time (e.g., a time certain or a time tied to ongoing subscription payments) or for a limited number of times.” 66 FR at 14100.

The Office received several comments in response to the notice of inquiry, some of which raised additional issues relating to section 115 of the Copyright Act (17 U.S.C. 115), incidental digital phonorecord deliveries, and other matters relating to digital transmissions of music.

Because the RIAA/NMPA/HFA agreement concerns many of the same issues raised in the March 9 Notice of Inquiry, RIAA, NMPA and HFA submitted a joint statement with the Copyright Office on December 6, 2001, in which they explain the terms of the agreement and list the benefits these parties associate with the agreement. The parties also included a copy of the agreement as an exhibit to the filing. The joint statement and the accompanying exhibits are posted on our website at: http://www.loc.gov/​copyright/​carp/​10-5agreement.pdf.

The Copyright Office recognizes that the RIAA/NMPA/HFA agreement is a significant development that may affect the Office's inquiry into digital transmissions of music. Consequently, the Copyright Office invites comment from the public on the effect of the RIAA/NMPA/HFA agreement on the issues identified in the Notice of Inquiry. Comments are due no later than January 28, 2002. Reply comments are due February 27, 2002.

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Dated: December 11, 2001.

David O. Carson,

General Counsel.

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[FR Doc. 01-30931 Filed 12-13-01; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 1410-31-P