The ACCESS to Recordings Act is the Right Way to Fix Music Copyright

Senator Wyden (D-OR) has introduced a common sense bill to fix a bad mistake made by Congress in the 1970s as an alternative to the bad bill Congress is currently considering. The Accessibility for Curators, Creators, Educators, Scholars, and Society (ACCESS) to Recordings Act would extend full federal copyright to sound recordings created before 1972–works that currently only have state law protection.

ACCESS is good for legacy musicians and good for libraries. This bill would help give legal certainty to library activities such as our Great 78 Project that seeks to preserve and give access to the millions of songs recorded on 78rpm discs from approximately 1900-1950. Many of these important cultural works are not commercially viable, and therefore could be lost forever without library intervention. ACCESS supports libraries’ ability to ensure the continued availability of our sound recording heritage.

“Copyright reform for pre-1972 sound recordings must consider the interests of all stakeholders – not just those of the for-profit record labels,” said Senator Wyden. “The ACCESS to Recordings Act, by applying the same term limits and rights and obligations that apply to other copyrighted works, would help preserve our cultural heritage and open up older works to rediscovery by scholars, creators and the public. I have serious concerns about the lengthy terms in current U.S. copyright law that tip the balance toward limiting rather than promoting creativity and innovation, but until Congress is willing to reconsider it, we shouldn’t go beyond those protections and provide unprecedented federal copyright term for sound recordings.”

The Internet Archive joins Public Knowledge, the Library Copyright Alliance and the Association for Recorded Sound Collections in supporting this bill, and urging Congress to pass it.

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6 Responses to The ACCESS to Recordings Act is the Right Way to Fix Music Copyright

  1. Pingback: News Roundup (May 25, 2018) | LJ infoDOCKET

  2. good for legacy musicians and good for libraries

  3. IMSLP says:

    Definitely an improvement over the CLASSICS act unanimously passed by the house, which failed to actually bring sound recording copyright under the federal law but nevertheless assigned performing rights to them under the federal provisions governing post 1971 recordings. The copyright in older recordings varies from state to state under common law so that even wax cylinders from the 1890s could theoretically be under copyight until 2067. 95 years from publication is still ridiculous – even the EU has only a 70 year term from release – but it’s likely the best we’ll get.

  4. Awesome. As a writer, I experience various times when my published work shows up for free on some odd and random website. Thus I understand the copyright concerns within the music industry, a problem that must certainly complicate efforts to craft law regarding older works, the need to preserve and the rights of the original musicians as well as the rights of their offspring. This was indeed an interesting read. Knowing that such matters do not go without being addressed by thinking minds provides a certain sense of honor to an otherwise Internet FREE-FOR-ALL concern music, writing and all other digital resources.

  5. I AM TOTALLY AGREED WITH THIS LAW I WISH THIS TYPE OF LAW TO BE IN ROMANIA BECAUSE ME AND ANOTHER THOUSANDS OF NON COMERCIAL ELECTRONIC MUSIC PRODUCER IT WILL BE LIKE A FRESH AIR FOR US AND OUR WORK THANK YOU SENATOR FOR THIS LAW AND THANK YOU ARCHIVE.ORG TEAM FOR PRESERVING ALL THE TREASURES FROM ALL OVER THE WORLD GOD BLESS YOU ALL ”DANUTZ”

  6. I honestly believe that this is great for my site!!!

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