Perils of pay for play

The Deal Pipeline


Don't expect something overnight. An overhaul of copyright is probably a 10-year process. Given rancor in Congress, competing business interests and powerful lobbies representing not just record labels or radio stations, but technology and telecommunications giants, this will be no easy task.

"As enthusiastic as I am about copyright reform, I am not so naïve as to think that there is any realistic chance that a copyright reform effort will be undertaken in the next decade by the Copyright Office, the U.S. Congress, or any other organized group," wrote Pamela Samuelson, a professor at University of California, Berkeley's Boalt Hall School of Law and a pioneer in digital-copyright law.

In many ways, copyright becomes a surrogate for broader industry fights. It triggers seemingly endless and sometimes vicious debate. At the recent Digital Music Forum East conference in New York, for example, participants spent the better part of a day jousting over issues related to rights, throwing elbows at each other and at the industry. 3/30/2012