- Saying that they hope to create a more competitive environment for web broadcasters by reducing litigation and ensuring consumer choice, two congressmen, in conjunction with trade group Digital Media Association (DiMA), announced a bill to amend the US Copyright Act Friday.
Congressmen Chris Cannon, a Republican from Utah, and Rick Boucher, a Democrat from Virginia, introduced the Music Online Competition Act (MOCA) to address what they claim are deficiencies in the Copyright Act, which fails to address unique issues in the online music industry.
One of the main objectives of MOCA is to eliminate royalties that web broadcasters are liable for on copies of copyright music that exist only because of the technology used to stream the music. "Incidental" copies, as they are sometimes called, include copies that may reside on a user's computer while they listen to a song and which disappear after the song has been played. Under current copyright law, web broadcasters could be made to pay royalties on these copies, in addition to royalties for the performance right.
Although a draft of the bill itself was not released Friday morning, an announcement by DiMA stated that MOCA would streamline royalty payments to songwriters and music publishers, give recording artists the right to directly receive web performance royalties and allow music consumers to listen to music online before they purchase it.
In addition, DiMA claimed that the bill would promote competition among online music providers by offering nondiscriminatory licensing of sound recordings.