During the next two years, Congress could decide if pre-1972 recordings get a digital performance right, determine whether terrestrial radio pays performance royalties to record labels and review the Department of Justice’s rules for ASCAP and BMI. And there will be continued efforts toward a major copyright update. Now, the three questions related to the Nov. 4 election that will have a major influence on the next two years for the music business.
1. Who will lead the House Judiciary Subcommittee on intellectual property?
With the retirement of Howard Coble (R-N.C.) sources say House Judiciary chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) could appoint self-described “techie” Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), an opponent of the Stop Online Piracy Act but a proponent of a performance right for terrestrial broadcasters.
2. Will Republicans win a majority in the Senate?
Current Democratic chairman Patrick Leahy has supported many issues important to the entertainment industry but it’s less clear where ranking Republican member Chuck Grassley stands on the issues. Also in question is the leadership of the Commerce Committee that oversees broadcasters, and who will be involved in a major rewrite of the Communications Act.
3. How and when will Congress move forward?
In the next two years, appeals court decisions will determine the issues listed here as well as many more, including new Internet radio royalty rates and the appeal of Capitol Records v. Vimeo, a lawsuit that could redefine what constitutes infringing behavior of a user-generated site. Each outcome can influence how Congress acts on important issues.