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Early 1900s The piano roll debuts, and the world hears its first reproduced music. 1909 The 1909 Copyright Act determines that producers of recorded music need not obtain consent from copyright holders-but must pay a nominal “compulsory” fee. 1910-1950 Copyright law and mass-market sales of records combine to make powerhouses of the record companies. 1948 Columbia Records introduces the long playing (LP) record. Reproduced music becomes more popular than live music, with the first million-seller a recording of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s musical South Pacific. 1940s-1960s The Justice Department negotiates the method by which performers and publishers will be compensated- via ASCAP and BMI-for the broadcast of recorded music. 1978 Congress amends the 1909 Copyright Act. Compulsory licensing now applies only to reproductions for “private use” that don’t “change the basic melody or fundamental character of the work.” 1980s-1990s Cassette tapes and compact discs further increase the popularity of recorded music. Congress ups the compulsory license fee paid to publishers to 8.5 cents. 1995 Congress amends the 1909 Copyright Act again, making digitally distributed music subject to compulsory licensing. 2000 The cell phone ringtone fad takes off. Makers of ringtones, called aggregators, negotiate non-compulsory licenses with music publishers-typically paying more than the statutory fee. 2004 More complex mastertones become popular. Vendors may now have to gain rights for publishing, sound recording, and performance. Today The music industry realizes it has to take a new look at licensing in the digital mobile age.

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