Music Community Demands Changes to Outdated Copyright Laws

As several new causes enter the limelight in the media, entertainers take the opportunity to shed light on their own concerns as well.

This year, thousands of musicians once again aim to challenge the outdated copyright law known as the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.

Some of the major artists throwing their weight behind this issue include Katy Perry, Christina Aguilera, and Lionel Richie.

An announcement from the U.S. Copyright office stated:

While Congress understood that it would be essential to address online infringement as the internet continued to grow, it may have been difficult to anticipate the online world as we now know it, where each day users upload hundreds of millions of photos, videos and other items, and service providers receive over a million notices of alleged infringement…

Among other issues, the Office will consider the costs and burdens of the notice-and-takedown process on large- and small-scale copyright owners, online service providers and the general public.

The DCMA was originally created by Bill Clinton, back in 1998. Ironically, back then it was considered an update to copyright laws for an increasingly digital age. However, nearly two decades later, that update is antiquated and needs to be reformed yet again.

One of the major concerns of musicians and music organizations is that copyright owners can do very little about copyright infringements, since the onus is on the owner and not the infringer to have the content removed.

As a result of this, many believe the law as it currently stands only helps tech-companies and pirating websites to hijack intellectual property for their own profit.

However, tech-companies like Google and Facebook disagree with the musicians and believe that the DCMA has been working effectively.

These platforms argue that it is important to ensure tech-companies are not held liable for the actions of users, provided that they act responsibly when the copyright infringement is noticed.

For example, an update to the law in favor of what the musicians are asking for, might mean the ability to sue Facebook for copyright infringement because a user posted a link to a leaked album. For tech-companies, this doesn’t seem fair.

What do you think? Is the law working effectively already, or do musicians have a cause for concern? Share your thoughts in the comments below.


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