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The summary below was written by the Congressional Research Service, which is a nonpartisan division of the Library of Congress, and was published on Mar 25, 1998.
TABLE OF CONTENTS: Title I: Copyright Term Extension Title II: Music Licensing Title I: Copyright Term Extension - Sonny Bono Copyright Term Extension Act - Amends Federal copyright provisions regarding preemption of laws concerning duration of copyrights. (Sec. 102) Prohibits the annulment or limitation of rights or remedies under State laws with respect to sound recordings fixed before February 15, 1972, until February 15, 2067 (currently, 2047). Extends the duration of copyright in a work created on or after January 1, 1978, to the life of the author and 70 (currently, 50) years after the author's death. Makes the same extension with regard to joint works created on or after such date. Extends the duration of copyright in anonymous or pseudonymous works or works made for hire on or after such date to 95 (currently, 75) years from the year of the first publication, or 120 (currently, 100) years from the year of creation, whichever expires first. Makes conforming extensions with respect to provisions regarding the presumption of an author's death. Extends from December 31, 2027, to December 31, 2047, the duration of copyright in works published on or before December 31, 2002. Extends the duration of copyrights in their renewal term at the time of the effective date of this Act to 95 years from the date such copyrights were originally secured. Permits an author or owner of a termination right, subject to certain conditions, to terminate a transfer or license of a renewal (executed before January 1, 1978) of a copyright (other than a work made for hire) subsisting in its renewal term on the effective date of this Act, for which the termination right has not been exercised, and has expired, by such date. Allows termination of a transfer or license grant at any time during the five years beginning at the end of 75 years from the date the copyright was originally secured. (Sec. 103) Revises provisions regarding termination of certain transfers and licenses granted by the author or covering extended renewal terms to provide that if the author's widow, widower, children, and grandchildren are not living, the author's executor, administrator, personal representative, or trustee shall own the author's entire termination interest. (Sec. 104) Allows, during the last 20 years of any term of copyright of a published work, a library or archives to reproduce, distribute, display, or perform in facsimile or digital form a copy or phonorecord of such work for purposes of preservation, scholarship, or research after determining that none of the following conditions apply: (1) the work is subject to normal commercial exploitation; (2) a copy or phonorecord of the work can be obtained at a reasonable price; or (3) the copyright owner or its agent provides notice that either of such conditions applies. Provides that such exemption does not apply to any subsequent uses by users other than such library or archives. (Sec. 105) Expresses the sense of the Congress that owners of copyrights for audiovisual works for which the term of copyright protection is extended by the amendments made by this title, and the screenwriters, directors, and performers of those audiovisual works, should negotiate in good faith in an effort to reach a voluntary agreement or voluntary agreements regarding the establishment of a fund or other mechanism for the amount of remuneration to be divided among the parties for the exploitation of those audiovisual works. (Sec. 106) Sets forth provisions regarding the assumption of certain contractual obligations with respect to the transfer of copyright ownership in motion pictures that are produced subject to collective bargaining agreements. Title II: Music Licensing - Fairness in Musical Licensing Act of 1998 - Revises Federal copyright law to provide that communication by electronic device of a transmission embodying a performance or display of a nondramatic musical work by the public reception of a broadcast, cable, satellite, or other transmission shall not be a copyright infringement if: (1) the rooms or areas within the establishment where the transmission is intended to be received by the general public are less than 3,500 square feet, excluding space for customer parking; (2) the areas exceed such square footage limitation but only a limited number of speakers or audio visual devices are employed; (3) no direct charge is made to see or hear the transmission; (4) the transmission is not further transmitted beyond the establishment where it is received; and (5) the transmission is licensed. Excludes as a copyright infringement the performance of a nondramatic musical work by a commercial establishment at no charge when a purpose of the performance is to promote audio, video, or other devices utilized in such performance. (Sec. 203) Specifies that if a general music user and a performing rights society are unable to agree on the appropriate fee to be paid for the user's past or future performance of musical works in the society's repertoire, the user shall be entitled to binding arbitration of such disagreement pursuant to the rules of the American Arbitration Association in lieu of any other dispute-resolution mechanism established by any judgment or decree governing the operation of such society. Requires the arbitrator to determine a fair and reasonable fee for the user's past and future performance of works in such society's repertoire and to impose a penalty for infringement if the user's past performance infringed the copyright of such works. Makes an arbitrator's determination binding on both parties. Sets forth provisions regarding civil actions for infringement that may be submitted to arbitration if the license fee for a performance is contested. (Sec. 204) Sets forth conditions under which landlords, organizers of conventions, or others making space available to another party are exempt from liability under any theory of vicarious or contributory infringement with respect to an infringing public performance of a copyrighted work by a tenant, lessee, or other user of such space.