Government Accountability Office Releases Performance Fee Report
August 6, 2010 at 5:44 AM (PT)
The GOVERNMENT ACCOUNTABILITY OFFICE has weighed in with their report of the potential affects of the royalty tax. A letter from GAO Dir./Physical Infrastructure Issues MARK L. GOLDSTEIN to Senator ARLEN SPECTER begins, "In a Previous Rate-Setting Proceeding for Some Sound Recordings, the Standard Addressing the Disruptive Impact on the Industries Contributed to a Lower Copyright Royalty Rate, but the Effect of Its Proposed Removal Is Unclear."
The letter explains to SPECTOR, "Every day, thousands of AM/FM radio stations, as well as satellite radio, cable radio and Webcasters use sound recordings to provide music to their listeners. As a form of intellectual property, sound recordings are protected by copyright law. The copyright holder (e.g., a record company or performer) may use a license to grant third parties permission to use sound recordings, in return for compensation and compliance with other conditions of the license. Congress established a statutory copyright regime, including a statutory license, which among other things, avoids the potential problems associated with thousands of music service providers seeking licenses from many copyright holders. Under this regime, a party may invoke a statutory license to allow it to use sound recordings under certain conditions and according to specific requirements, in exchange for payment of a set royalty amount."
GOLDSTEIN continued, "Since 1976, the Copyright Royalty Tribunal, Copyright Arbitration Royalty Panels, and Copyright Royalty Judges have been responsible, successively, for recommending or setting rates, terms, and conditions for statutory licenses. In the Copyright Act of 1976, Congress established the Copyright Royalty Tribunal. The Copyright Royalty Tribunal operated until 1993, when Congress abolished it and authorized the Librarian of Congress, upon the recommendation of the Register of Copyrights, to appoint and convene Copyright Arbitration Royalty Panels."
Read the full document here.
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