Kelsey Schulz

Document Type



This Comment discusses whether the IRFA would be the appropriate solution to the inequities in current copyright law as it pertains to digital music. Part I of this Comment will provide a more in-depth discussion of the history of copyright law and music distribution. It will examine the implications of the 1971 Sound Recording Act, the 1976 Copyright Act, and the Digital Performance Right in Sound Recordings Act of 1995. Part II will provide a critique of the current state of the law, including a look at the Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998 and its effects on the respective categories of digital music distributors. This section will analyze the distinctions and applications of the 801(b) standard versus the willing buyer/willing seller standard. Part III will introduce the Webcaster Settlement Acts of 2008 and 2009, which have been serving as temporary solutions to the disparity created by the two royalty rate standards. This discussion will lead into Part IV, which will analyze and contemplate the IRFA as a possible solution that will save Internet radio and, potentially, the music industry. The Comment will conclude by validating a blanket 801(b) approach, as adopted by the IRFA, as a solution to the problem posed by the inequities in digital music copyright royalties.

First Page