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CONTACT: Amy Smorodin
May 23 , 2006
(202) 289-8928
PFF Examines Music Licensing in a Digital Age
June 2nd Congressional Seminar on Licensing, Rate-Setting and DRM

WASHINGTON D.C. - The quick pace of technological innovation coupled with the widespread popularity of digital content has put the spotlight on current music licensing schemes and rate-setting. Are these classifications keeping up with technology? How can the needs of the artist, distributor and end user be balanced in a world of digital content? How do existing compulsory licenses apply to new digital services and devices? These questions are omnipresent in House and Senate legislation known as the PERFORM Act, and are at the heart of a current law suit involving RIAA and XM Satellite Radio. The Progress & Freedom Foundation will address these timely topics in a June 2nd Congressional Seminar, "The Role of Music Licensing in a Digital Age."

Traditional music licenses include performance licenses and mechanical licenses. Some argue the increased availability of multi-functional platforms has blurred the lines between these licensing arrangements. Disputes have also arisen over the “willing buyer/willing seller” and other, conflicting standards used to set rates under the newly constituted Copyright Royalty Board. PERFORM Act sponsors in the House and Senate would make clear that satellite radio receiver devices that can identify, record and store individual songs in their entirety should be subject to the same licensing obligations and copy protections as a digital download service, and would adopt a “fair market value” standard for the reproduction and copying of all digital music.

A diverse panel will discuss these issues, including Michael Petricone, Vice President of Government Affairs at the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA); Mitch Glazier, Senior Vice President of the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA); and intellectual property attorney Christian Castle, a former musician, music industry veteran and former Senior Vice President, Business & Legal Affairs and General Counsel for Shawn Fanning’s SNOCAP. The panel will be moderated by PFF Senior Fellow and VP-Communications & External Affairs Patrick Ross.

"The Role of Music Licensing in a Digital Age" will be held in room B-354 of the Rayburn House Office Building in Washington, D.C. from 12:00pm - 2:00pm. Lunch will be served. Those interested in attending can register here. Questions concerning the event should be directed to Marie Ryan at or 202-289-8928. Media enquiries should be directed to Amy Smorodin at 202-289-8928 or

The Progress & Freedom Foundation is a market-oriented think tank that studies the digital revolution and its implications for public policy. It is a 501(c)(3) research & educational organization.



The Progress & Freedom Foundation