The Copyright Alternative in Small-Claims Enforcement Act of 2019, or C.A.S.E. Act, is currently making its way through Congress, and it stands to have a significant impact on musicians and labels across the country. As it stands now, if you’re a musician who’s had their music used without a license, your only recourse is to go to a federal copyright court to defend your claim of ownership, which often costs hundreds of thousands of dollars in court and attorney(s) fees, and you must travel to D.C. for the hearing. The C.A.S.E. Act seeks to change that reality by creating a small claims court, that would be much more accessible to artists and labels, both financially and physically, since proceedings can happen remotely.
Thousands of hours of content are uploaded to sites like YouTube, SoundCloud, TikTok, Facebook, etc. every minute, and a fair amount of it contains unlicensed music. Technologies like YouTube’s “Content ID” system can help rights holders find offending usages once they’re uploaded, but not all sites have that kind of functionality, and certain uses are so short that the current tech can’t find them. Thankfully, there are several third party services stepping into the market to fill this critical gap in digital attribution and rights management, and we talk to three of them on this episode.
While little attention was given by the U.S. population at large, the creative class, and musicians in particular, paid close attention to the wars waged over the EU’s new copyright directive, known colloquially as Article 13. Although is has yet to be ratified, and passed into law by its member states, Article 13 has the potential to close the “safe harbor” loophole for UGC giants like YouTube, Soundcloud, etc., which would make them wholly responsible, and liable, for all previously copyrighted material published on their platforms.
One of the least talked about and perhaps most important topics for musicians to understand is copyright. What is it, how do you copyright your music, and what’s the point of doing so? On this episode, we cover the basics of copyright with IP lawyer Peter Vaughan Shaver and musician Simon Tam. We also hear from Jessica Sobhraj, CEO of Cosynd, a platform created for creators to protect their work.