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WORK FOR HIRE, NOT LOWER

RIAA And Artists Agree
On Work-For-Hire Compromise
As we rumored yesterday, The Recording Industry Association of America and musicians have reached an agreement in their ongoing battle over "works for hire." The musicians seem to have won.

Last November, the RIAA asked Congress to change copyright law to make sound recordings "works for hire," meaning that they are the property of the company that made them, not the individual artists. The RIAA-endorsed amendment to copyright law was inserted into the Satellite Home Viewer Improvement Act.

Under copyright law, a "work for hire" is considered the property of the employer and comes in two types. The first is specified by contract or the traditional employer-employee relationship. The second is a work that is "specifically ordered or commissioned for use as a contribution to a collective work."

When artists heard about the change in law they were understandably unhappy. Don Henley and Coolio, among many others, joined together to condemn the amendment.

The two sides have been negotiating for months, reaching a truce Tuesday afternoon that essentially agrees to toss the amendment.

In a statement on the settlement, RIAA president/CEO hilary rosen',390,400);">hilary rosen',390,400);">Hilary Rosen asserted, "We said from the beginning we did not intend to change the law and have worked diligently to assure that the issue of work for hire is resolved without prejudice to anyone's position. Plus, we've got some lawsuits to keep our lawyers working on other things for a while."

Jay Cooper, counsel for the artists groups, which include the Artists Coalition, the National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences, and the American Federation of Musicians, told the Hollywood Reporter, "Everybody on our side is happy with the language—it's in English."

It's good to see everyone smiling again, isn't it?

Both sides will make now a joint recommendation to Congress to repeal the amendment.

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