How Player Pianos & The Supreme Court Made All Those Covers Of Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah – And Every Other Song – Feasible

What do you get when you combine a legally bizarre decision by the Supreme Court in the 1908 case of White-Smith Music Publishing Co. v. Apollo Co. and the concern by Congress that the Aeolian company, which manufactured player pianos, would come to dominate the music industry? Well, you get a law that makes performing covers of any song easy and inexpensive. It’s an intriguing story: Scales of Justice By Kal Raustiala and Chris Sprigman (Slate: May 12, 2014)


Photo by Wendi Dunlap

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