UC Law SF Communications and Entertainment Journal


Ever since jukeboxes and taped music began replacing bands in many restaurants and bars, performing musicians have been deprived of earnings and protection from unauthorized performance of their work. Digital technology exacerbated the problem by creating super quality sound that can be duplicated without a loss of quality. The Internet, which has become a medium for distributing prerecorded music, has the potential for doing damage to ownership interests throughout the entire recorded music industry. In just a few seconds, anyone with Internet access can retrieve, store, and listen to the performance without paying royalties to the performers. This article discusses the protections granted to copyright owners of sound recordings by the Digital Performance in Sound Recordings Act of 1995 and examines the Act's many shortcomings.