Aerosmith lead singer Steven Tyler and music attorney Dina LaPolt have sent a letter to the U.S. Patent and Trademark office opposing the creation of a compulsory license that would allow anyone to legally create remixes and derivative works, without getting songwriter permission.
With possible copyright review and revision a topic of conversations currently in the halls of congress and within the administrative branch of the U.S. Government, a number of government departments and committees have been investigating this area. In July, the U.S. Department of Commerce Internet Policy Task Force issued a green paper on copyright policy, creativity and innovation in the digital economy. Among other things, the paper suggested that remixes might face unacceptable impediments, asking if there is a way to smooth the path for remixes, such as creating a compulsory license.
The Task Force said it will convene a series of roundtables to examine that issue but, in their letter to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office -- itself an agency of the Department of Commerce -- LaPolt and Tyler argue that such a compulsory license will take away an artist's right to designate the way their music is used. "Artists can, and should, continue to be able to deny a use that they do not agree with," the statement said. "There is absolutely no need to impose a compulsory license to allow derivative works," because the current marketplace is working.