DENVER — In a move that should be music to the ears of businesses that pay for professional music services, State Senator Jack Tate (R-Centennial) is taking steps at the Statehouse to help protect them against shakedown attempts by organizations or individuals threatening to sue them over alleged copyright violations.
His bill, HB-1092, passed the Senate on Second Reading Friday and now seems on a glide path to the Governor’s desk.
Tate is a strong supporter of all property rights, including intellectual property rights, so he respects the right of music writers and performers to collect royalties on their songs. But he brought the bill after hearing numerous reports of bar or tavern owners who have found themselves the target of shakedown attempts for alleged copyright violations, even though they and the music services they use are operating legally.
“The bill says in statute that if your business pays for a commercial music service, you have an affirmative defense against intellectual property right claims, because you already pay for those rights when you pay for the service,” explained Tate. "It also improves transparency by requiring better reporting of the licensing service rates and associated content, so small businesses can more easily comply with the law and avoid the potential threat of copyright suit.”
Tate hopes HB-1092, when it becomes law, will let small business owners worry less about the complexities of copyright law and more about providing the best possible products and services for customers.
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