US Senate Judiciary Prioritises Performance Rights Bill 04/06/2009 by William New, Intellectual Property Watch Leave a Comment IP-Watch is a non-profit independent news service, and subscribing to our service helps support our goals of bringing more transparency to global IP and innovation policies. To access all of our content, please subscribe now. You also have the opportunity to offer additional support to your subscription, or to donate. Draft legislation to change United States copyright law related to payment for music on radio is likely to see action this summer in the Senate Judiciary Committee, the committee chairman said Thursday. “We have many important matters awaiting us this summer,” Senator Patrick Leahy, a Vermont Democrat, told a committee executive business meeting. “We need to address the anomaly in copyright law that will be corrected by the bipartisan Performance Rights Act.” The bill would change US copyright law to require AM and FM radio to pay for music the same way webcasters, satellite radio providers and cable companies do (IPW, Copyright Policy, 23 February 2009, IPW, Copyright Policy, 12 June 2009). “Music has a wonderful friend in Senator Leahy,” said Jennifer Bendall, executive director of the musicFIRST Coalition. “AM and FM radio stations earn billions in ad revenue every year without compensating the artists, musicians and rights holder who bring music to life and listeners ears to the radio dial. We look forward to working with Senator Leahy, House Judiciary Committee Chairman John Conyers [D-Michigan] and our other supporters to enact a fair performance right on radio.” Also a priority this summer, Leahy said, will be an extension of the Satellite Home Viewer Act, which essentially created a compulsory licence and allowed satellite companies to provide “distant” TV stations outside the local market to eligible subscribers. In addition, the committee will consider the Supreme Court nomination of Sonia Sotomayor, who has a history of working on IP-related cases. Leahy’s committee statement (unofficial version) is available here [doc]. William New may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org."US Senate Judiciary Prioritises Performance Rights Bill" by Intellectual Property Watch is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.