Most of the headlines so far around a new report from US Department of Commerce’s Internet Policy Task Force have focused on its suggestion that Congress “enact legislation adopting the same range of penalties for criminal streaming of copyrighted works as now exists for criminal reproduction and distribution”. We suspect music rightsholders will be as interested in the section of the report on collective licensing. “The time may be ripe to revisit whether legislative adjustments can help modernize the existing mechanical license for the digital age, for example by converting it into a blanket license, permitting a single license for a complete repertoire,” suggests the report. It also notes that “new digital services are blurring the traditional lines between the different exclusive copyright rights”, while pointing out that Spotify launched in the US long after Europe, while Deezer hasn’t yet launched there. “Although there are 20 million worldwide subscribers to interactive services, only 3.4 million are in the United States,” claims the report, suggesting that licensing changes may speed up innovation and adoption there.
Source: Washington post