Document Type


Publication Date

Fall 2008


Since Napster made mass digital downloads and online piracy available and accessible in June of 1999, the music industry has been under attack. Traditionally, record companies have received their revenue from phonorecord sales and use of the music in film, television, and advertisements. Performers have received their income from record companies based on a percentage of the sales income after the company has recouped its investment in the artist.

With the current technology and digital marketing available, all of the players in the music business believe that the revenue distribution models need to change but, to date, have been reluctant to agree on how to implement that change

This article will discuss some of the major changes proposed to 17 U.S.C. §§ 114 and 115. Part II presents a brief history of compulsory licenses as background for the current state of the law and the perceived need for change. Part III provides a summary of Marybeth Peters' proposals. Part IV discusses the current status of § 114 and the pending legislation to expand the scope of performance royalties for sound recordings. Part V contains the author's proposals to modify Sections 107, 114, and 115.