This report discusses the future of copyright law in relation to the recorded music industry. The way we access, produce, distribute, store and consume recorded music has changed dramatically with the introduction of the internet. This change has meant that the current copyright laws have to be brought in line with the consumer’s change in perception of choice and access to recorded music. Adapting copyright law to meet the perception of choice and access to recorded music is proving controversial. To understand the controversy, it is important to bear in mind, the public policy issue underpinning copyright law. The public policy issue referred to is the need to protect copyright owners in the interest of encouraging innovation. High quality recorded music benefits the public and enriches society and culture. If musicians are to be incentivised to create exciting, new high quality songs then they must be allowed to profit from their work. Conventional wisdom states that musicians can only profit from their work by being given monopoly rights to control the use, distribution and consumption of their songs. In other words, copyright law is in the public interest. The global recorded music industry, distribution and consumption paradigm has shifted in the last 15 years because of the Internet. This report will discuss which is in the greater public interest. To give consumers more choice through concentrating on high quality digital sales online or to control the supply and sale of recorded music online.
The traditional recorded music industry model is that the singer, songwriter or DJ who are together referred to in this report as artists (and for copyright purposes authors) receive an advance. Theoretically there are mechanical royalty payments from the publisher or record company. Mechanical royalties are royalties paid for the license to... [continues]
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