Several powerful lobbying associations are strongly opposing a bill that
would require record companies with online services to license all their
copyrighted music to online competitors.
"The marketplace is working but [the bill] threatends to stifle America's copyright industries by substituting government regulation on the Internet for business models and contractual arrangements that promote flexibility, experimentation and adaptation to consumer demand," wrote organizations such as the Motion Picture Association of America, Recording Industry Association of America, American Association of Advertising Agencies, Association of American Publishers, Interactive Digital Software Association, National Basketball Association, Office of the Commissioner of Major League Baseball, National Hockey League, and National Football League, among others, to members of Congress.
The bill, called the "Music Online Competition Act," was introduced in the House last August by Reps. Rick Boucher (D-Va.) and Chris Cannon (R-Utah).
The legislation was in response to controversy caused
over the free online music distribution service, Napster.
A federal appeals judge last summer forced Napster to shut down its service.
Record companies are banding together to provide their own subscription services, based on their own libraries of copyrighted music. - Paige Albiniak