Ignoring the Public Part I: On the Absurd Complexity of the Digital Audio Transmission Right
UCLA Entertainment Law Review, Vol. 7, Pp. 189-265, 2000
Posted: 2 Dec 2000
One of the most complex features ever added to the Copyright Act of 1976 went under the label "Digital Performance Rights in Sound Recordings Act of 1995." In 1998, Congress amended this provision to make it even more obscure, via the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. The resulting statutory language is barely comprehensible.
In this article, David Nimmer untangles the strictures that apply to streaming audio on the Internet. He follows the twists and turns as to what conduct is permissible and where it turns infringing. In the course of his analysis, he illuminates some of the policy judgments that Congress reached and how they failed to serve the public interest.
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