According to the Tennessean, Music Row business have spent close to $4 million dollars in the last three months lobbying Tennessee politicians like Bob Corker, Marsha Blackburn, and Jim Cooper for help on industry-friendly IP initiatives such as the Performance Rights Act (which would expand the royalties available for radio play), the Songwriters Tax Simplification Reauthorization Act (a bill for songwriters which simplifies their taxes), and the controversial Stop Online Piracy Act or (“SOPA”)(the Senate version is called Protect IP). The entertainment industry originally tried to fight piracy by filing lawsuits against illegal down-loaders, but this ended up as a public relations debacle and did little to curb infringement. Consequently, the industry is now targeting its money and its efforts towards promoting legislation like SOPA, which the industry views as a reasonable and necessary weapon to protect IP rights. This route has its own challenges–much of the technology sector and Internet titans like Google and Facebook hate the bill and the fight will undoubtedly get bloody. It remains to be seen what we will end up with in the ever-shifting landscape that is modern copyright law.
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