Copyright is a legal device that protects the music itself -- not the paper on which it is printed nor the recording on which it is performed. It is copyright alone that makes music publishing feasible, for without it there is no protection against the unrestricted and uncompensated use of the property of a composer/lyricist and their publisher. Since 1917, NMPA has been a strong and effective champion for the protection of music copyrights in an age of rapid technological changes. NMPA was a leading voice for music publishers in connection with the enactment of the Copyright Act of 1976, and has successfully advocated amendments to that Act where necessary to protect the interests of music copyright owners.
Currently representing over 3000 American music publishers, NMPA has worked to interpret copyright law, educate the public about licensing, and safeguard the interests of its members. To insure a fair and orderly market for everyone involved in music publishing, NMPA is dedicated to the protection of music copyright across all media and across all national boundaries.
In addition to its role as music publishing industry advocate, NMPA distributes information to its members through sponsorship of publisher Forums in New York, Los Angeles, and Nashville, as well as publication of News & Views.
Since the first musical notes were sounded and recorded, the music publishing industry has grown and changed. As we look ahead, we anticipate that the convenience of digital delivery of phonorecords may soon make digital transmission services the music distribution method of choice for many consumers. Yet NMPA's challenge remains the same: to provide for a legal environment -- domestically and globally -- that will enable effective and efficient licensing of musical works on terms appropriate to the nature of the use. Global delivery and global protection--that is NMPA's goal.
NMPA's Internet Anti-Piracy Task Force has prepared a paper, The Engine of Free Expression: Copyright on the Internet, to illustrate how copyright protection in the computer-driven Age of Information is the engine of free expression, and why it is especially important that the Internet serve as a nurturer-and not as a destroyer-of the incentive to create that drives the marketplace of ideas.