Today, House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) and Ranking Member John Conyers, Jr. (D-Mich.) announced a proposal to reform the United States Copyright Office. The Committee has requested written comments on its proposal by January 31, 2017 and cautions that it only “marks a starting point for further discussion.”
Yesterday, the Songwriters of North America (SONA), a songwriter advocacy group, sued the Department of Justice over its interpretation of the antitrust consent decrees governing ASCAP and BMI, the two largest U.S. performance rights organizations (PROs). The lawsuit alleges that the DoJ has, by simply reading the the words of consent decrees, unconstitutionally seized their property. While heavy on rhetoric, the complaint is light on actionable facts. It not only misunderstands the DoJ’s mandate, but is anchored in a breathtakingly overbroad vision of copyright law that should give any sensible observer pause, and serves as a reminder of the Copyright Office’s problematic relationship with industry.
Today we’re releasing our newest report, “Captured: Systemic Bias at the U.S. Copyright Office.” This report examines the role of industry capture and the revolving door between the content industry and the Copyright Office, and the implications that capture has had on the policies the Office embraces. In the report, we investigate how the Copyright Office.
Today, Public Knowledge filed an amicus curiae brief in Williams v. Gaye, the “Blurred Lines” case, before the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. This brief argues that creative works build upon other creative works, and thus copyright law should not limit creativity by expanding over non-copyrightable elements in those works.