Some very promising news came out of our nation’s capital yesterday: a bill has been introduced in the House of Representatives that would eliminate the Performance Complement of the Digital Millenium Copyright Act (DMCA) for public radio stations.
The Performance Complement, you may recall, is that particularly annoying bit of law that says things like you can’t stream more than four songs by the same artist in a three hour period, etc. and so forth. Needless to say, eliminating these silly restrictions would be a great boon to all.
Below is the official press release from NPR with more details.
Before you get too excited, though, there are a couple of things to bear in mind:
1. This bill is not law yet – it’s just a bill, yes it’s only a bill. Until and unless it becomes a law, the Performance Complement is still in effect.
2. If this bill does become a law, this won’t affect SoundExchange reporting. That is to say, all of the music you stream would still have to be reported as it is currently, including the onerous “report each track individually” requirement. Changing that is a whole other kettle of fish.
But still – exciting and hopeful! Thanks to all who helped get things this far. Keep all your digits crossed.
NPR Applauds the Introduction of the Public Radio Music Enhancement Act of 2010
September 30, 2010; Washington, D.C. – NPR expresses its support of the Public Radio Music Enhancement Act of 2010, H.R. 6307, introduced yesterday by Congresswoman Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) in the U.S. House of Representatives. The bill will improve the audience experience provided by public radio music stations in communities across America by easing restrictions on public radio stations’ music streams imposed by the performance complement.
“My legislation offers a narrow fix that has broad implications for the music-loving public in my home state of Wisconsin and across the country,” said Congresswoman Baldwin. “I look forward to working with NPR to further enhance its programming and better serve its listeners,” Baldwin said.
“We are enormously grateful for Congresswoman Baldwin’s leadership on this issue. Music is a critical element of public radio’s community service, connecting audiences with the performers, songwriters, musicians, lyricists and composers who enhance their lives. Congresswoman Baldwin’s common-sense legislation would allow public radio to improve that service and enhance audience enjoyment in the digital age,” said Vivian Schiller, NPR’s president and CEO.
Included as part of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act in 1998, the performance complement arbitrarily limits the number of times stations can stream songs online from the same artist, album or compilation within a 3-hour period. In effect, this prevents public radio stations—some of the last free sources of music in quintessential genres like classical, jazz and folk—from streaming symphonies in their entirety, promoting local and emerging artists, or properly educating their listeners about the lives and careers of American musical masters.
“We look forward to working with Congresswoman Baldwin on this important legislation as the process moves forward,” Schiller concluded.
Media relations contact: Danielle Deabler, ddeabler [at] npr [dor] org / 202.513.2303