Hatch Warns Labels, Don’t

Hatch Warns Labels, Don’t Make Me Come Over There and Spank You

Facing a veritable who’s who of the music-copyright wars, Chairman Hatch threatened — in surprisingly direct terms — to force the music labels and publishers, by legislation, to make their content digitally available for a standard fee if the record business continued to ensnarl e-music with lawsuits. As a capper, Hatch suggested that Congress might even go so far as to offer its own comprehensive definition of ”fair use” to hasten the arrival of paid digital music — an action that would have implications far beyond music.

‘Legislation is going to have to straighten this out,” Ulrich told Hatch. ”You’re dreaming if you think we can work this out between us. We can’t work this out without your involvement.”

”Fair and reasonable licensing needs to take place,” Hatch flatly told the industry as he closed the hearing. ”We’ll be watching closely.”