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Old 04-16-2007, 02:59 PM
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Re: Take action! against recent copyright ruling


Dear Mr. Schenkenberger :

Thank you for contacting me about copyright licenses and the "PERFORM Act." I appreciate hearing from you on this important issue.

In the age of the Internet and satellite radio, technology can often advance faster than the law, making it difficult to maintain a system that ensures both public access to artistic content and fair compensation for artists' efforts. U.S. copyright laws distinguish between the protection of performance rights-for example, when a s o ng is broadcast on TV or over the radio-and distribution rights, such as the sale of a CD . Both terrestrial and satellite radio stations may broadcast an artist's work in exchange for paying performance royalties, but such stations do not have to pay distribution royalties under current law.

In early 2006, satellite radio companies introduced new handheld devices that allow subscribers to record, store, and replay digital music off the air. The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) contends that these devices constitute both performance and distribution of music, thereby violating copyright holders' rights.

The "Platform Equality and Remedies for Rights Holders in Music (PERFORM) Act" (S. 256) seeks to remedy this situation by streamlin ing the various processes for determining rates and terms for royalty payments by subscription, non-subscription, and satellite services into one process.

The PERFORM Act is pending before the Senate Judiciary Committee. While I am not a member of that committee, please be assured I will monitor this issue closely, and I will work to ensure that the protection of copyrights does not impede the development of new technologies and consumer choice.

Thank you again for contacting me.
VAXman -- Watcher of the moon, watcher of all.
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