RIAA And Industry Artists Reach Mutual Agreement On Work-For-Hire Issues

"Our board members are happy that we have reached an accord with the RIAA on this issue, however, our happiness will turn into excitement only after Congress passes this amendment:" -Barry Bergman, Presendent of the Music Managers Forum.

The Recording Industry of America (RIAA) and representatives of the Artists Coalition, AFM, AFTRA, AmSong, the Music Managers Forum and NARAS announced last night that agreement has been reached on a legislative recommendation to Congress to resolve the "work made for hire" issue.

Last November, Congress amended the Copyright Act to specifically add sound recording to the list of copyrighted works eligible to be considered as "works made for hire," However, immediately thereafter, legitimate concerns had been raised about its effect.

"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," said Hilary Rosen, president and CEO of the RIAA. "The book needs to be closed on this issue so we can get back to a united industry on so many important challenges of the day. The resolution is a good one."

"This was a more complicated endeavor than anyone realized, but thanks to the good faith and continuing efforts of all parties, we have been able to restore the law to its prior status," said Jay Cooper of Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, an attorney representing artists in the negotiations. "I am glad we have been able to resolve this. Artists and record companies have so many issues in common and we need to be working together."

Don Henley, a leader in the artists' effort said "This shows what artists can do if we are willing to stand together to protect our interests."

Sheryl Crow, a co-leader in the Artists' Coalition said, "I'm glad and relieved that the RIAA responded to our concerns and that we could work with them productively."

The recording industry and the coalition of artists plan to request that Congress pass this legislative recommendation before the end of this congressional season