2141 Rayburn House Office Building

The Honorable Bob Goodlatte

Chairman Goodlatte: Welcome to the Subcommittee’s second music licensing hearing. I see the size of the witness panel has grown with the interest in this issue.

Two weeks ago, a number of problems in the music licensing system that currently exist were highlighted. In reviewing the written testimony submitted in advance of this hearing, there does seem to be agreement that a more robust copyright ownership database is needed. There also seems to be an interest by many in simplifying the diverse licensing and rate making systems. However, disagreement remains on whether all those who use music should pay for it and what specific rate standard should be used, among other issues.

As I mentioned two weeks ago, as we consider challenges and potential solutions to the copyright laws relating to music, we should keep in mind ideas that incorporate more free market principles. We should also be mindful of the tremendous role that digital music delivery services play in the music ecosystem for consumers and creators alike.

I have long said that the content community and the technology community need each other. It is my hope that we can identify improvements to our copyright laws that can benefit both groups, as well as consumers, by maintaining strong protections for copyrighted works and strong incentives for further innovation.

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