The complex issue of copyright reform took center stage during the Grammy Awards telecast on Feb. 8 when Recording Academy chief Neil Portnow urged Congress to ensure that "new technology [pays] artists fairly." His comments echoed some of the contents of a 250-page music-licensing report issued just three days earlier by the U.S. Copyright Office. Congress may or may not enact some of those recommendations into law -- but if it does, the ramifications are enormous.
1. Recommendation: "More equal footing" for master and musical work rates. Record labels currently earn up to 12 times more digital performance royalties than publishers.
- Winner/Loser: Digital services will be hard pressed to pay much more, so greater parity between rates means publishers' gains will be labels' losses.