Nimmer on US Copyright Culminating in its Music Modernization Act

Dec 11, 2019
From 5 PM to 7 PM

Location Montréal
Nimmer on US Copyright Culminating in its Music Modernization Act

In October 2018, Congress passed a massive amendment to the US Copyright Act, under the caption “Orrin G. Hatch–Bob Goodlatte Music Modernization Act.” The upheaval caused by that earthquake is still being felt.

Prof. Nimmer will place these events in context. Taking a comprehensive look at US copyright law as it progressed through the Twentieth Century, he will focus on its distinctive provisions governing the exploitation of musical compositions and sound recordings. He will show how the 1976 Act slotted those works for protection, including its distinctive feature allowing “termination of transfer,” namely the recapture of works 35 years after granting rights in them.

From there, we will work through numerous details of the 2018 blockbuster legislation. Beyond placing it in the context of what has come before (including its impact on termination of transfer), he will root matters in their Twenty-first Century implementation. Included will be a look at such features as:

  • Federalization of protection for pre-1972 sound recordings, which formerly were protected as a matter of state law;
  • The newly established blanket license, administered by a “mechanical licensing collective”;
  • Status of voluntary licenses in the context of the newly formed blanket license;
  • The coordinate establishment of the role of “digital licensee coordinator”;
  • Regulation of functions of “digital musical providers”;
  • The massive new “musical works database” that lubricates the entire process;
  • Effect of these new forms on traditional copyright infringement causes of action;
  • The brainteaser of what constitutes “digital phonorecord delivery”; and
  • Further ruminations on the new treatment of musical compositions versus sound recordings.

Conférencier: Professeur David Nimmer

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