The United States Copyright Act is primed to take center stage during this current legislative session, as several members of Congress introduced comprehensive legislation earlier this year known as the Fair Play, Fair Pay Act of 2015 (FPFPA). This bill seeks to modify the Copyright Act in three key ways. First, it would create a terrestrial public performance right for recording artists and owners of master sound recordings. Second, it would eliminate the Copyright Act’s exemption against federal copyright protection for sound recordings fixed prior to February 15, 1972. Third, it would establish a process designed to allow for the setting of consistent fair market royalty rates paid in consideration of the public performance of all sound recordings.
By William W. Shields