Legislation introduced Thursday in the House of Representatives would greatly increase copyright protection and performance rights for sound recordings.

The bill, introduced by Reps. William J. Hughes (D-N.J.) and Howard Berman (D-Calif.), would give copyright holders exclusive rights to control digital transmission of their sound recordings.

The Recording Industry Assn. of America heartily endorsed the measure. “In this era of advancing digital technology, it is vital that performers and record companies be protected from unlicensed exploitation,” RIAA prexy Jay Berman said in a statement.

The RIAA said the industry needs performance rights not currently granted under U.S. law in order to participate fully in lucrative overseas performance royalty pools.

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