Hastings Communications and Entertainment Law Journal


Julie B. Raines


The Fairness in Musical Licensing Act, now pending before Congress, would allow restaurants owners and other businesses to play copyrighted music in their place of business without paying royalties or licensing fees to the copyright owner. This Article discusses the Fairness Act in the context of the 1976 Copyright Act and analyzes the effect of the Fairness Act on the future of the music industry if it passes into law. This Article also offers other possible solutions to the underlying conflicts that the Fairness Act seeks to remedy. The author concludes that the Fairness Act unreasonably exempts a large group of copyright users from paying licensing fees, and thus undermines the protection of copyrighted works the 1976 Act was designed to protect.