Digital Performance Right in Sound Recordings Act

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Digital Performance Right in Sound Recordings Act
Great Seal of the United States
Long title Digital Performance Right in Sound Recordings Act of 1995
Acronyms (colloquial) DPRA
Effective Feb 1, 1996
Citations
Public Law Pub. L. No. 104-39, 109 Stat. 336
Statutes at Large 109 Stat. 336
Codification
Acts amended Copyright Act of 1976
Titles amended 17 (Copyright)
U.S.C. sections amended 17 U.S.C. §§ 106, 114-115
Legislative history
  • Introduced in the United States Senate as S.227 by Orrin Hatch on January 13, 1995
  • Committee consideration by Senate Judiciary Committee; House Judiciary Committee (Subcommittee on Courts and Intellectual Property)
  • Passed the United States Senate on November 1, 1995 
  • Passed the United States House of Representatives on October 17, 1995 
  • Signed into law by President Clinton on November 1, 1995
Major amendments
Digital Millennium Copyright Act

The Digital Performance Right in Sound Recordings Act of 1995 (DPRA) is a United States Copyright law that grants owners of a copyright in sound recordings an exclusive right “to perform the copyrighted work publicly by means of a digital audio transmission.”[1] The DPRA was enacted in response to the absence of a performance right for sound recordings in the Copyright Act of 1976 and a fear that digital technology would stand in for sales of physical records.[2] The performance right for sound recordings under the DPRA is limited to transmissions over a digital transmission, so it is not as expansive as the performance right for other types of copyrighted works.[3] The Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), enacted in 1998, modified the DPRA.

Three-tier System[edit]

The DPRA categorizes services under three tiers, based on the service’s potential impact on record sales.[4] First, non-subscription broadcast transmissions exempt from requirements to pay license fees. Second, non-interactive Internet transmissions are required to pay a statutory license established by the Copyright Board. Third, Interactive Internet transmission services are required to negotiate a license agreement with the copyright holder.

The DMCA modified the requirement and framework for the statutory license.

Criticism[edit]

While the DPRA expanded the sound recording’s performance right, performers have still criticized the DPRA’s comparative inequity[5] because composers still have a much wider performance right than performers. Broadcast services have criticized the DPRA’s burden on webcasters, since the three-tiered system places a higher burden on the interactive Internet transmission services.[4] Both sides have criticized the convoluted structure of the DPRA.[6]

References[edit]

  1. ^ 17 U.S.C. § 106(6)
  2. ^ Martin, Rebecca (1996). "THE DIGITAL PERFORMANCE RIGHT IN THE SOUND RECORDINGS ACT OF 1995: CAN IT PROTECT U.S. SOUND RECORDING COPYRIGHT OWNERS IN A GLOBAL MARKET?". Cardozo Arts and Entertainment Law Journal 14: 733. 
  3. ^ Cohen, Julie; Lydia Loren; Ruth Okediji; Maureen O'Rourke (2006). Copyright in a Global Information Economy. New York, New York: Aspen. pp. 466–67. ISBN 0-7355-5612-1. 
  4. ^ a b Myers, Kellen (2008). "The RIAA, the DMCA, and the Forgotten Few Webcasters: A Call for Change in Digital Copyright Royalties". Federal Communications Law Journal 61: 439–40. 
  5. ^ Sen, Shourin (2007). "The Denial of a General Performance Right in Sound Recordings: A Policy that Facilitates Our Democratic Civil Society?". Harvard Journal of Law and Technology 21 (1): 262. Retrieved 2010-03-10. 
  6. ^ Jackson, Matt (2003). "From Broadcast to Webcast: Copyright Law and Streaming Media". Texas Intellectual Property Law Journal 11: 455.