blinddrew wrote:Surely this hinges on the legal definition of 'music provider'? How is that defined in the bill?
Turns out 'music provider' is mentioned 101 times in the bill, the definition is occurrence 99 :roll:
Anyway, here's the text:
"Digital music provider.--The term `digital music provider' means a person (or persons operating under the authority of that person) that, with respect to a service engaged in covered activities--
``(A) has a direct contractual, subscription, or
other economic relationship with end users of the
service, or, if no such relationship with end users
exists, exercises direct control over the provision of
the service to end users;
``(B) is able to fully report on any revenues and
consideration generated by the service; and
``(C) is able to fully report on usage of sound
recordings of musical works by the service (or procure
Which is an interesting bit of legalese.
The use of the word 'and' at the end of part B says that the provider needs all three parts to qualify.
Part A would definitely include something Youtube as you sign up to terms and conditions with your account (current reading of the law says this is effectively a contractual agreement), what's not clear in this bit is what 'direct control' means. Parts B and C are covered elsewhere in the bill by the fact that companies are allowed to use content matching systems.
But if you are unable to provide parts B&C, or if you don't actually have a relationship with the end user - say you provide a broadcast system that aggregates content hosted elsewhere and doesn't require people to sign-in to stream content, that would presumably not make you a music provider. And therefore not subject to this bill.
Will be interesting to see how this plays out but I wonder if this will just see some new provider pop up with an ad-supported platform, scraping content from larger sites who are covered by the legislation but offering a better end-user experience by being able to aggregate a wider range of material. If they do it in such a way that it still tracks back as a play on the original site that should be ok.
The other outcome might just be that companies incorporate in less strict jurisdictions and bypass the legislation altogether.
Of course the other thing that's not covered in the MLC's remit is the collection of royalties where another contract exists. So for those folks signed to a major, and where the major has an existing contract with Spotify et al they won't potentially see any difference. Good if it's working for you, less good if you think you're being screwed over.
Will be interesting to see what happens in January. If it functions as it's designed it should prove something of a boon to small content creators. I've signed up for updates from the MLC so it'll be interesting to see how the registration process works before January and then what happens when the rules kick in.