Today House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) announced that the Judiciary Committee will conduct a comprehensive review of U.S. copyright law over the coming months. The announcement was made at the World Intellectual Property Day celebration at the Library of Congress.
From Rep. Goodlatte’s Prepared Remarks:
Just as Register Solberg recognized the need to update of our nation’s copyright laws in the early 1900’s to accommodate new technologies, our current Register, Maria Pallante, has also perceived a need to do so. Last month, she testified before my Committee about her desire for the “next great copyright act.” Much of her testimony was about policy issues that have arisen due to the advance of technology.
There is little doubt that our copyright system faces new challenges today. The Internet has enabled copyright owners to make available their works to consumers around the world, but has also enabled others to do so without any compensation for copyright owners. Efforts to digitize our history so that all have access to it face questions about copyright ownership by those who are hard, if not impossible, to locate. There are concerns about statutory license and damage mechanisms. Federal judges are forced to make decisions using laws that are difficult to apply today. Even the Copyright Office itself faces challenges in meeting the growing needs of its customers – the American public.
So it is my belief that a wide review of our nation’s copyright laws and related enforcement mechanisms is timely. I am announcing today that the House Judiciary Committee will hold a comprehensive series of hearings on U.S. copyright law in the months ahead. The goal of these hearings will be to determine whether the laws are still working in the digital age. I welcome all interested parties to submit their views and concerns to the Committee.
I also look forward to working with the Register and the Copyright Office that has served Congress well since its creation over 110 years ago. There is much work to be done.
Hat Tip and Thanks: @xpectro