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November 22, 1995

US CONGRESS PASSES BILL TO GRANT COPYRIGHT OWNERS RIGHTS TO CONTROL INTERACTIVE DIGITAL FORMATS

By CBR Staff Writer

The US House of Representatives has passed legislation giving copyright owners the right to royalties each time a sound recording is transmitted digitally. The same legislation was earlier passed by the Senate. The bill grants copyright owners the exclusive right to control the performance of works transmitted via interactive digital format. It gives copyright owners rights to a share of the royalties each time a digital version of a song is sent via on-line services, cable television, satellite interactive and other future delivery technologies, reports Daily Variety. Under existing law only music publishers and songwriters receive compensation for the public performance of a work. Money collected from the digital transmission of a work will be split as follows: 50% to record companies, 45% to featured artists, 2.5% to non-featured artists, 2.5% to non-featured vocalists and 2.5% to non-featured musicians. The Recording Industry Association of America has worked for more than two decades to get the legislation passed. It had to compromise with an exemption from performance rights fees for broadcasters.

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