Legal music-download services won’t be able to compete
fully with their free- and illegal-download counterparts until
copyright law changes, a Virginia congressman said Tuesday.
"The illegal services offer all of the songs, and the legal
services don’t, and therein lies the crux of the problem," Rep. Rick
Boucher, a Virginia Democrat, said in a speech at the Future of Music Policy Summit here.
The remedy, he said, lies in
a congressional rewrite of portions of copyright law that govern
licensing and royalty fees and make it cumbersome for legal download
services to add material to their inventories. Boucher said he hopes
his committee will have a new bill written and reported to the U.S.
House of Representatives by the end of this congressional term in
November. (The congressman has also been a vocal critic of other pieces of digital copyright law.)
The Senate Judiciary Committee has also been exploring how to
streamline and simplify the royalty system in a way that "balances the
competing interests of artists and publishers" but "doesn’t continue
But Congress can’t go forward until it achieves consensus among the
powerful interest groups involved, Boucher said: "If you belong to an
organization that represents copyright owners, please urge a resolution
of these issues at the earliest possible time."