ArticleVolume 34, No. 4 (2011)

Welcome and Introductory Remarks

June M. Besek

Executive Director of the Kernochan Center for Law, Media and the Arts and a Lecturer in Law at Columbia Law School

Let me say a few words about why we decided to focus on collective management of copyright for our symposium this year. Collective licensing and collective management have long been part of the U.S. copyright landscape. In particular, the performing rights organizations, ASCAP, BMI and SESAC,1 license performing rights in music, and almost all composers and music publishers belong to one of those organizations. There are, of course, later-developed collective management organizations in the United States. One notable one is Copyright Clearance Center (“CCC”), which was developed after the 1976 Copyright Act, largely to license photocopying of textual materials. But the world has changed since then, and the scope of CCC licenses has expanded to meet the  demand for audiovisual and digital forms as well. Still, outside the field of music, collective management organizations are not as prominent or as widely adhered to in the United States as they are elsewhere in Europe and around the world.