In the context of music, we’ve already witnessed a growing appreciation for the royalties that online distributors provide to copyright owners for our use of their creative works. Indeed, a prominent trade association recently acknowledged that the payments we make are beginning to add up to “real revenues” for the industry. The aforementioned reforms would only allow us to further enhance our ongoing efforts.
They would also permit us to continue to serve as a key platform for the discovery of up-and-coming recording artists. By now, it’s hard to deny that music publications are filled with stories about how online music services provided a given band or artist with a new outlet for connecting with fans — which ultimately ended up launching the artist’s career.
The biggest benefit of these reforms, however, would most likely be witnessed in the context of reducing online piracy. Several recent studies have demonstrated how the absence of providers that make content available for lawful online consumption produces an uptick in copyright infringement, while the presence of such services yields a 25 percent decline — and, in some cases, as much as a 40 percent reduction in such acts of piracy.
With a little help from Congress, digital media service providers are poised to be the champions of content distribution for the foreseeable future.
In the words of Katy Perry, it’s time to hear us roar.
Gregory Alan Barnes serves as general counsel to the Digital Media Association.
Terri Henderson, 6, center, whose mother is El Salvador, attends a rally with members of Congress at Union Station's Columbus Circle to announce the Restore Opportunity, Strengthen, and Improve the Economy (ROSIE) Act on July 29, 2014. The legislation provides incentives for government contractors to pay a living wage and other benefits that would help low-income workers.