Honolulu, Hawaii



RE:    S.B. No. 1287

       S.D. 1




Honorable Donna Mercado Kim

President of the Senate

Twenty-Eighth State Legislature

Regular Session of 2015

State of Hawaii




     Your Committees on Judiciary and Labor and Commerce and Consumer Protection, to which was referred S.B. No. 1287 entitled:




beg leave to report as follows:


     The purpose and intent of this measure is to:


     (1)  Protect sound recordings fixed prior to February 15, 1972, against unauthorized public performance; and


     (2)  Repeal chapter 482C, Hawaii Revised Statutes (HRS), relating to copyrights in sound recordings.


     Your Committees received testimony in support of this measure from six individuals.


     Your Committees find that prior to the Copyright Act of 1976, the federal copyright laws did not protect sound recordings.  However, omitted from this federal copyright protection was the right of public performance of a sound recording for profit.  In its 2014 decision of Flo & Eddie, Inc. v. Sirius XM Radio, Inc. et al., Case No. CV 13-5693 PSG (RZx) (Sept. 22, 2014), the United States District Court for the Central District of California recognized that the Copyright Act of 1976 explicitly allows states to regulate rights and interests arising from sound recordings fixed prior to February 15, 1972.  Furthermore, the court held that California Civil Code, section 980(a)(2), recognizes a comprehensive ownership interest in sound recordings fixed prior to February 15, 1972.  Accordingly, this measure allows recording artists and their record labels to enjoy a public performance right in their sound recordings.


     Your Committees have amended this measure by:


     (1)  Condensing the purpose section under section 1;


     (2)  Extending the exclusive ownership interest in original work until February 15, 2067, instead of February 15, 2047, to reflect the federal law rather than the California law;


     (3)  Reinstating chapter 482C, HRS, rather than repealing the chapter;


     (4)  Amending the penalty provision under section 482C-5, HRS, to establish that a person who violates the copyrights in sound recordings law shall pay a fine not to exceed $1,000 or be guilty of a misdemeanor, or both;


     (5)  Inserting an effective date of January 7, 2059, to encourage further discussion; and


     (6)  Making technical, nonsubstantive amendments for the purposes of clarity and consistency.


     As affirmed by the records of votes of the members of your Committees on Judiciary and Labor and Commerce and Consumer Protection that are attached to this report, your Committees are in accord with the intent and purpose of S.B. No. 1287, as amended herein, and recommend that it pass Second Reading in the form attached hereto as S.B. No. 1287, S.D. 1, and be placed on the calendar for Third Reading.


Respectfully submitted on behalf of the members of the Committees on Judiciary and Labor and Commerce and Consumer Protection,