Noncommercial Use of Pre-1972 Sound Recordings That Are Not Being Commercially Exploited
The U.S. Copyright Office is issuing a final rule regarding the Classics Protection and Access Act, title II of the Orrin G. Hatch- Bob Goodlatte Music Modernization Act. In connection with the establishment of federal remedies for unauthorized uses of sound recordings fixed before February 15, 1972 (``Pre-1972 Sound Recordings''), Congress established an exception for certain noncommercial uses of Pre-1972 Sound Recordings that are not being commercially exploited. To qualify for this exception, a user must file a notice of noncommercial use after conducting a good faith, reasonable search to determine whether the Pre-1972 Sound Recording is being commercially exploited, and the rights owner of the sound recording must not object to the use within 90 days. After soliciting three rounds of public comments through a notice of inquiry and a notice of proposed rulemaking, the Office is issuing final regulations identifying the specific steps that a user should take to demonstrate she has made a good faith, reasonable search. The rule also details the filing requirements for the user to submit a notice of noncommercial use and for a rights owner to submit a notice opting out of such use.