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RAIN 11/1: Copyright Office issues Notice of Inquiry regarding pre-1972 sound recordings

Posted on: 11/01/2010

NOTICE ASKS ABOUT POSSIBLE ECONOMIC IMPACT ON WEBCASTERS

The Copyright Office has issued a Notice of Inquiry regarding if sound recordings from before 1972 should be given Federal protection. The Copyright Office has asked for comments on the issue, due by December 20.

As sound recordings created before 1972 do not have protection under Federal law there is some confusion over whether these recordings are then covered under Section 114 of the Copyright Act. This is the law that covers royalties paid by Internet and satellite radio.

In fact, the Copyright Office’s Notice of Inquiry asks about the possible economic impact on webcasters of bringing pre-1972 sound recordings into the section 114 statutory licensing mechanism. You can find the Notice here. Industry attorney David Oxenford notes that any change would have to be carried out by Congress.

“This is a complicated issue,” he writes (here), “and Internet radio operators should carefully consider, with counsel, the issue of whether Section 114 royalties are due for pre-1972 sound recordings.”

LAST.FM DEBUTS NEW STREAM: MIX RADIO

In the wake of axing three streaming radio options for subscribers, Last.fm has debuted Mix Radio — a new online radio stream. As the name implies, Mix Radio is a mixture. It combines tracks Last.fm knows you like (via “scrobbling”) and recommended tracks you haven’t heard before.

“Listening to all-new music can be a bit heavy going,” the company writes in a blog post (here). “Similarly, just listening to your old favourites sometimes isn’t what you want either…We think that the combination makes a really enjoyable new way to explore Last.fm’s recommendations.”

In late October, Last.fm cut three subscriber-only radio streams due to licensing issues (RAIN coverage here).

BONNEVILLE’S MYNORTHWEST.COM WINS EDWARD R. MURROW AWARD

Bonneville website MyNorthwest.com has won the National Edward R. Murrow Award for Best Large Market Radio Website. “The people at MyNorthwest.com and News Talk 97.3 KIRO FM are some of the most creative and hard working journalists in the Northwest,” said Director of Digital Media, James Bottorff. “It’s nice to see their dedication to the craft noted.” You can find MyNorthwest.com here.

iPAD COMPETITOR COMES WITH SLACKER PRE-INSTALLED

Having an app shoulder-to-shoulder with thousands of others in an app store is one thing; having an app pre-installed on a cutting-edge new device is quite another. Slacker’s Android app will come pre-installed on just such a gadget: the Samsung Galaxy Tab, an iPad-competitor tablet computer available on nearly every U.S. cellular provider (RAIN coverage here). AllAccess has more on the story here.

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