In accordance with the Omnibus Appropriations Act of 2009, the U.S. Copyright Office has issued a report suggesting that sound recordings made prior to February 1972 be brought under its jurisdiction to protect the interests of associated stakeholders.
"The Copyright Office is grateful for the opportunity to explore this issue and to assist Congress in addressing how best to preserve and offer appropriate access to these works that are such an important part of our cultural patrimony," agency director Maria Pallante explained. "We believe that bringing pre-1972 sound recordings into the federal copyright system serves the interests of consistency and certainty, and will assist libraries and archives in carrying out their missions while also offering additional rights and protection for right holders."
Through a comprehensive analysis of the economic impact of federal coverage on rights holders - at the urging of Congressional leaders - officials have concluded that the new model would be a marked improvement over the current protections offered by state laws.
The planned term of protection has been set at 95 years from original audio publication dates, ensuring the security of the recordings and serving the interest of rights holders for years to come.