Congress mulls extending copyright yet again – to 144 years

(The Register) The US Congress is looking to extend copyright on some sound recordings to a staggering 144 years – making it the twelfth time copyright rules have been extended since the 1970s.

The CLASSICS Act being debated in the Senate and House would create a new federal copyright rule for sound recordings made between 1923 and 1972 that would keep them out of the public domain until 2067.

The act is being combined with another bill – the Music Modernization Act – which is aimed at ensuring that musicians are paid for their music as we enter the digital streaming era, under the logic that it makes sense to pull together a patchwork of laws under one regime.

The upshot, however, is that recordings from the 1920s to the 1970s cannot be streamed without a license.

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