Bill Holland was the award-winning Washington Bureau Chief for Billboard. He joined the Billboard staff in October, 1981. In November 2005, Billboard terminated its Washington Bureau, and with it, Bill.
For 24 years, he has covered the legislative and regulatory beat in D.C., and has also reported all the major court cases issues that affect the music industry. Holland’s coverage also chronicled the emerging role of the government in safeguarding creators and content owners as the digital era and the popularity of the internet changed the foundation of the music business.
Holland reported on all of the major digital era changes in U.S. copyright law, including the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, the Digital Performance Right in Sound Recordings Act, the Audio Home Recording Act as well as anti-piracy, indecency and intellectual property protection legislation. He has also covered such Supreme Court copyright law rulings as the landmark Betamax case, the Copyright Term Extension Act case and the recent Grokster decision.
His beat also extended to the federal agencies, and reported on public policy rulings at the the Copyright Office, the Department of Justice, the Federal Communications Commission, the Federal Trade Commission, the Commerce Department and others.
In addition to his government beat reporting, Holland also has contributed many investigative and analytical feature articles to the magazine. For example, he was the first writer in the industry to report on the sorry state of recorded music preservation and efforts by U.S. record companies to turn the tide to preserve America’s audio heritage.
He also was the first reporter in the industry to investigate the inequities of recording artists’ contracts with their labels, long a subject of criticism. In 2000, Holland was presented the first in-house award named for legendary Billboard editor Paul Ackerman for his “self-generated enterprise journalism.” He has also won many Billboard “Front Page” Billboard awards for his stories over the years.
Holland has also won many outside prizes for his work, most notably two ASCAP Deems Taylor Awards, given for “significant contributions to music journalism.” That award is considered the most prestigious in the industry.
The first, presented in 1998, was in appreciation for his three-part investigative articles chronicling the record industry’s efforts to stop the deterioration and loss of untold numbers of recordings that had received inadequate archival and preservation efforts in the past.
The second, which he won in 2000, was for his year-long series on a copyright law amendment that made sound recordings a new category of “work for hire.” That characterization took away the right of most recording artists to reclaim their recordings after a period of exploitation by record companies.
In addition to breaking that story, Holland’s efforts focused music community and lawmakers’ attention on the law, which was subsequently repealed by Congress.
For that series, Holland was also awarded a Special Achievement Award from the Washington Area Music Assn. (WAMA).
Over the years, Holland has also represented Billboard as an expert on government and legislative affairs at many industry conventions, forums and seminars, both as a moderator and panelist .