After years of similar pending legislation, Congress passed the Copyright Alternative in Small-Claims Enforcement (CASE) Act, buried deep in the thousands of pages of the COVID-19 relief bill. The CASE Act is being welcomed with mixed reactions, with some copyright owners excited for an alternative to federal litigation, but also concerned about the opt-out option. Similarly, others who frequently receive copyright claims view this with hesitancy.
The US Copyright Office recently issued the long-awaited and first comprehensive government study on the 20-year-old Section 512 of the Copyright Act. The 250-page study contains an incredibly thorough and well-done analysis of the current law in this area, the learned challenges of this provision and the viewpoints of various stakeholders with regard to some of the challenges that exist with Section 512. This article aims to provide a brief overview of the study's key findings.
Absent a few limited exceptions, the use of someone else's music without their permission is an infringement on their copyright. This article sets out some fundamentals to assist in determining the type of licence that an average company would need and some potential alternatives. The bottom line when planning and budgeting for music in a project is to get the proper rights and permissions in place before pressing 'play'.