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Y 4. SM 1:104-76
COMMITTEE ON SMALL BUSINESS
ONE HUNDRED FOURTH CONGRESS
WASHINGTON, DC, MAY 8, 1996
Printed for the use of the Committee on Small Business
Serial No. 104-76
U.S. GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE
WASHINGTON : 1997
For sale by the U.S. Government Printing Office
MAR 1 0 1997
COMMITTEE ON SMALL BUSINESS
JAN MEYERS, Kansas, Chair JOEL HEFLEY, Colorado
JOHN J. LAFALCE, New York WILLIAM H. ZELIFF, JR., New Hampshire IKE SKELTON, Missouri JAMES M. TALENT, Missouri
NORMAN SISISKY, Virginia DONALD A. MANZULLO, Illinois
FLOYD H. FLAKE, New York PETER G. TORKILDSEN, Massachusetts GLENN POSHARD, Illinois ROSCOE G. BARTLETT, Maryland
EVA M. CLAYTON, North Carolina LINDA SMITH, Washington
MARTIN T. MEEHAN, Massachusetts FRANK A. LOBIONDO, New Jersey
NYDIA M. VELAZQUEZ, New York ZACH WAMP, Tennessee
CLEO FIELDS, Louisiana SUE W. KELLY, New York
EARL F. HILLIARD, Alabama DICK CHRYSLER, Michigan
DOUGLAS “PETE” PETERSON, Florida JAMES B. LONGLEY, JR., Maine
BENNIE G. THOMPSON, Mississippi WALTER B. JONES, JR., North Carolina KEN BENTSEN, Texas MATT SALMON, Arizona
WILLIAM P. LUTHER, Minnesota
JOHN ELIAS BALDACCI, Maine
JENIFER LOON, Staff Director
Hearing held on May 8, 1996
MUSIC LICENSING AND SMALL BUSINESS
WEDNESDAY, MAY 8, 1996
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES,
Washington, DC. The Committee met, pursuant to notice at 10 a.m., in room 2359, Rayburn House Office Building, the Honorable Jan Meyers (Chair of the Committee) presiding.
Chair MEYERS. Good morning. The Committee will come to order. Today's hearing is our second in a series of hearings looking at intellectual property issues of importance to small business.
The issues surrounding music licensing practices of the Performing Rights Societies, ASCAP, BMI, and SESAC, has long been a major concern for small businesses in the entertainment and retailing industry.
The background music that we all hear when we're out at our favorite restaurant or local bar or a retail store is something that many people don't really think that much about. Today's hearing will change all that. Because how music is licensed and who pays for it, and how many times it is paid for, is going to surprise many
As many of you know, music licensing under the copyright laws and the antitrust consent decrees in effect with respect to ASCAP and BMI are issues that are within the legislative jurisdiction of the Committee on the Judiciary.
However, the Committee on Small Business has a tradition of holding oversight hearings on issues of importance to small business. In fact, in 1957, during the 85th Congress, a Subcommittee of the Permanent Select Committee on Small Business of the U.S. House of Representatives held 5 days of investigative hearings on the practices of ASCAP.
The record of those hearings covered over 700 printed pages; and as a result of those hearings, members of the Committee held an executive session with Representatives of the Department of Justice who took the matters presented at the Subcommittee hearings under consideration in their continuing enforcement of the 1950 consent decree against ASCAP.
Today this issue of music licensing remains critical to many small businesses. For example, 92 percent of NFIB members have demanded music licensing reform legislation and are firmly behind H.R. 789, the Fairness in Music Licensing Act. This legislation was introduced by my colleague and friend, Jim Sensenbrenner, and I am proud to be a cosponsor.