The chairman of the Senate's Judiciary Subcommittee on Intellectual Property has given a few more months to music industry players to resolve their differences over reforming the nation's music licens

The chairman of the Senate's Judiciary Subcommittee on Intellectual Property has given a few more months to music industry players to resolve their differences over reforming the nation's music licensing laws for the digital age.

At the end of a July 12 hearing on the issue, Sen. Orrin G. Hatch, R-Utah, told witnesses he needed consensus from the digital media and music groups before he would introduce a Senate bill. As a result, he said he will call another hearing. No hearing date has been announced but will most likely be in the next session, starting in January.

Hatch's decision has placed attention back on the House with a bill expected to be introduced soon by Rep. Lamar Smith, R-Tex., who has held a series of hearings on the issue.

The dispute is over the mechanical licensing provisions of the Copyright Act, which some groups say do not work in today's business environment and impede the progress of authorized digital music distribution.