ASCAP & BMI Issue Joint Comments To House Judiciary Committee Regarding Reform of the U.S. Copyright Office

January 31, 2017

Congress has been engaged in a multi-year review of our copyright laws, and recently released the first of many likely legislative proposals to reform the copyright system in the form of a White Paper report issued by the U.S. House Judiciary Committee. This report raises a number of suggestions, including providing the Copyright Office greater autonomy over its general operations (namely budget and technology) and an aggressive plan to modernize the Office through enhanced technology, among other things. It also proposes a plan for the Copyright Office to develop and maintain a centralized database of copyright ownership information. Click here to read the full White Paper.

On January 31, 2017, ASCAP and BMI issued joint comments in response to the Committee’s report, supporting the notion of affording the Copyright Office the budget and independence necessary to properly service music creators. We also echoed the importance of data transparency, but advised the Committee that a government-controlled database of musical works information would be an unwise expenditure of resources, and that such an endeavor would be better left to the PROs and other music industry parties who are in a much better position to maintain that data.

Click here to read the full comments issued by ASCAP and BMI. In addition, nearly 70 other parties submitted comments. To view all the submissions, please visit the Judiciary Committee website.