the nineteenth century, certain key inventions came into being which changed
how music was enjoyed by listeners, such as the music box and the player piano.
These new mechanical uses of music were not specifically provided for in the
copyright laws of the day. Numerous meetings and hearings were held in the
United States, United Kingdom, across Europe, and at several Berne Conventions,
where potential amendments to existing laws were considered. Many factors were
weighed as the option of providing authors with the exclusive right to control
mechanical reproductions was contemplated, including a looming monopoly in the
United States and Europe. This article examines the discussions as they
unfolded and resulted in the copyright laws of many countries, as well as the
Berne Convention, being amended to include this new right, along with a
limitation on the right which took the form of a compulsory mechanical license.
Keywords: copyright, mechanical licensing, music licensing, compulsory licensing, music business, music law, Berne Convention
Elton, Serona. “The Origins of Mechanical
Licensing of Musical Compositions.” Journal of the Music and Entertainment Industry Educators Association 11, no. 1 (2011): 13-38. https://doi.org/10.25101/11.1
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