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DMCA Defined and Described

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By: Brian Scott Luke, MBA

January 4, 2018

One of the best benefits of The Digital Performance Right in Sound Recordings Act of 1995 (DPRSRA) was that DPRSRA created a public performance right for record companies, and their signed artists, in certain sound recordings when the content is broadcast by digital audio transmission. Previously, only songwriters and publishers enjoyed this performance right.  This new right is a limited one and covers subscriptions and transmissions. Webcasting, also known as web-based radio stations, podcasting, and the rebroadcasts over the internet were included under the limited right of the 1998 DMCA. The FCC-licensed broadcast station web transmissions are also covered under the 1998 DMCA. The station’s license fees and limitations are negotiated and decided by voluntary negotiation between the parties. Arbitration, voluntary or compulsory, may also be an option.The CARP decision on royalties for fees; paid nonexempt, paid subscription digital services, was approximately 6 percent of gross revenues resulting from residential services within the borders of the United States. From this amount, fifty percent of the royalties go to the artists. Forty-five percent of the royalties go to the non-featured musicians, approximately three percent of which goes to the non-featured vocalists, and nearly fifty percent going to the record companies.Equal right protections and provisions on an international scale were a huge benefit of the 1998 DMCA. The WIPO Performance and Phonograms Treaty was implemented by the DMCA and dealt with the copyright protection for works in a digital form. Foreign countries are now, under DMCA to offer copyright protections as good as, or better than what the local laws offer.Another major improvement is the fact that the DMCA created and criminal and civil penalties. The consequences can be very severe, including up to a one million ($1,0000,000) fine and a decade of imprisonment. This is specifically for bypassing the copyright safeguards. These safeguards can include the copyright holder’s management information. This specific information can include such things as, the title of work, conditions, and terms.There are some limited provisions set forth in this act, including but not limited to the activities of Online Service Providers. These provisions include, how the Online Service Provider manages accounts that may be infringing on the copyright holder’s protections under the act. Other items allow the online service provider to disconnect or otherwise restrict the account holders account, based on legal process.
Terms:AHRA – Audio Home Recording Act of 1992CARP: Copyright Royalty and Distribution Act of 2014DPRSRA: Digital Performance Right In Sound Recordings Act of 1995DMCA: Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998
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