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The Dual Narratives in the Landscape of Music Copyrights

 |  January 25, 2015

Posted by Social Science Research Network

The Dual Narratives in the Landscape of Music Copyrights– Lydia Pallas Loren (Lewis & Clark Law School)

Abstract: The challenges that new technologies bring is a constant theme in copyright law, but in the field of music the problems are particularly pronounced. Much has changed in the music industry over the past century. As new business models emerged, incumbents in the music industry fought vigorously to capture revenue streams. As a result, the fragmented copyright rights that characterize the music industry have taken on new layers of complexity. The Copyright Act, federal regulations promulgated by the Copyright Office, Copyright Royalty Board proceedings, antitrust consent decrees, and federal district courts acting as “rate courts,” all play roles in establishing who has to pay, who gets paid, and how much money changes hands in the music industry. The variety of regulatory mechanisms that shape the royalty rates paid by different businesses that use and distribute music has resulted in a stunning disparity in prices paid for the music inputs used by different businesses.