Witnesses from around the music business are set for two House Judiciary Committee hearings that will help shape the future of music licensing. The first hearing, previously announced, will take place on Tuesday, June 10th at 10am ET. Billboard has learned that the second hearing will be held June 25th.
The hearings will allow various stakeholders — so many of them the topic merits two hearings rather than one — to present their views on how music licensing should be improved, or left alone, to further the digital music business. Although the topic and conversation may seem dry, the hearings will help reshape of the future music business and ultimately impact everyone from consumers to creators. To change how sound recordings and musical works are licensed could affect the economics of digital music for services, impact royalties for creators and rights holders, and help the creation of new business models.
According to multiple sources, the witnesses for the June 10th hearing will be David Israelite, president and CEO of the National Music Publishers Association; Neil Portnow, president and CEO of the Recording Academy; Michael O’Neill, CEO of BMI; Lee Knife, the executive director of Digital Media Association; Lee Thomas Miller, president of the Nashville Songwriters Association International; and Jim Griffin, managing director at OneHouse LLC.
The eight witnesses for the June 25th hearing will be Paul Williams, president and chairman of the board, ASCAP; Cary Sherman, chairman and CEO at Recording Industry Association of America; Rosanne Cash appearing on behalf of the Americana Music Association; Delida Costin, general counsel at Pandora; David Frear, executive VP and CFO at SiriusXM Radio; Mike Huppe, president and CEO at SoundExchange; Darius Van Arman, board member at the American Association of Independent Music; and Charles Warfield, joint board chair at National Association of Broadcasters.
June’s hearings on music licensing are part of a larger effort by the House Judiciary Committee to update copyright law. Since last year, the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Courts, Intellectual Property and the Internet has held a number of hearings with an underlying theme of copyright revision. Hearings held in 2014 have covered the DMCA’s notice and takedown process, the first-sale doctrine, compulsory video licenses, preservation and reuse of copyrighted works, and the scope of copyright protection.