Items tagged "Copyright Office"

Press Release

Years of Copyright Office Failures in DMCA Exemption Process Result in Major Legal Challenge

July 21, 2016 1201 Reform , Copyright Office , Copyright Reform , DMCA

Today, the Electronic Frontier Foundation filed suit against the Copyright Office and the Department of Justice, challenging the government’s enforcement of the technological controls imposed under Section 1201 of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. Under this statute, the Librarian of Congress is charged with reviewing and granting exemptions when necessary to protect legitimate innovation, free expression, and other public interests. Among its other claims, EFF alleges that the Copyright Office — which conducts this review on behalf of the Librarian — has mismanaged the process and repeatedly failed to grant valid exemptions, in violation of the First Amendment and the Administrative Procedure Act.

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Press Release

Public Knowledge Joining Copyright Office Roundtable in Washington D.C.

May 16, 2016 1201 Reform , Copyright Office , Copyright Reform , Digital Ownership , Fair Use

Public Knowledge balanced copyright advocates Raza Panjwani and John Bergmayer will appear at public roundtable discussions May 18-20 to discuss software-enabled consumer devices (May 18) and the DMCA’s Section 1201 anticircumvention provision (May 19-20) at the Library of Congress in Washington D.C. The U.S. Copyright Office is hosting these public roundtables as it studies how various provisions of copyright law impact rights owners, consumers and even internet service providers.

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Press Release

Public Knowledge Challenges Restrictions on Legitimate Use

November 3, 2014 Anticircumvention , Copyright Office , Copyright Reform

Today, Public Knowledge filed petitions with the Copyright Office asking for two exemptions to the copyright law that prevents users from legally accessing their own copies of copyrighted material by bypassing digital locks. The filings mark the beginning of the triennial rulemaking process, which was designed by Congress to create a safety valve to the copyright law when it recognized that the law could bar legitimate uses.

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Press Release

Public Knowledge Proposes Plan to Modernize Copyright Office, Asks Term Limits

December 6, 2010 Copyright Office , Press Release

The U.S. Copyright Office should use the occasion of the appointment of a new Register of Copyrights to make fundamental changes in how the Office operates, Public Knowledge said today in a new paper, “A Copyright Office for the 21st Century.” Current Register Marybeth Peters has served since 1994 and has announced she will retire at the end of this year.

A full copy of the report is here.

The new Register “must modernize both the operation of the copyright registry and its approach to policymaking,” PK said.  In addition, PK recommended putting a limit of 10 years on the amount of time a Register can serve.

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Post

The CASE Act: Small Claims, Big Risks

November 7, 2017 Copyright , Copyright Office , Copyright Reform , Ligitation , Small Claims

It’s almost axiomatic that independent artists face unique difficulties in the digital environment. Unlicensed commercial use of creative works is not uncommon, and the money that those uses theoretically represent in unpaid licensing fees can be substantial. So it’s understandable that artists would push for a system that makes it cheaper and easier for them to recover royalties for infringements of their copyrights.

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The Consequences of Regulatory Capture at the Copyright Office

September 8, 2016 Copyright , Copyright Office , Copyright Reform

Today, Public Knowledge released a report examining the role of regulatory capture—both its sources and its consequences—at the U.S. Copyright Office.

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The Growing List of How the Copyright Office Has Failed Us

August 8, 2016 Copyright , Copyright Office , Copyright Reform , Unlock the Box

As we’ve been talking about recently, the Copyright Office has a long history of being bad at its job, and misrepresenting the law it’s charged with understanding. Anyone familiar with tech policy already knows about the debacle that is the exemption process under Section 1201, but it doesn’t end there. Aside from its seemingly never-ending quest to accumulate more power by pulling non-copyright issues under its umbrella, the Office pushes wildly expansive interpretations of copyright law–asserting rights that don’t exist, interpreting consumer safeguards so narrowly as to render them useless, preventing consumers from using assistive technologies, creating “solutions” that nobody asked for, and otherwise making bizarre proclamations that completely ignore relevant facts and law. Over and over again, the Copyright Office bends over backwards to align its positions with the lobbying agendas of the big entertainment conglomerates.

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Not the Agency You’re Looking For: The Copyright Office’s Misguided Antitrust Adventure

July 25, 2016 Antitrust , ASCAP , BMI , Copyright , Copyright Office

The increasing frequency with which the Copyright Office has inserted itself into policy debates raises questions about the scope of its expertise and authority. An illustrative example of how the Office’s opinions can cause problems occurred earlier this year. During the Department of Justice’s Antitrust Division inquiry into how performance rights organizations (PROs) ASCAP and BMI license songs with multiple authors where not every author is a member of the PRO (i.e., where either PRO represents only a ‘fraction’ of the ownership stake in the song), a member of Congress sought out the opinion of the Copyright Office, and the Office responded. Although it’s unremarkable for an agency to offer its opinion in response to a lawmaker request, it is remarkable for that agency to reach into unfamiliar areas of law, ignore basic public policy concerns in that area of law, and offer its own unqualified judgment on matters properly within the jurisdiction of another agency.

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Notes From Today’s Hearing: The Register’s Call for Updates to U.S. Copyright Law

March 21, 2013 Copyright Office , DMCA , Enforcement , First Sale , Internet Blueprint

Maria Pallante, the Register of Copyrights (and thus, head of the Copyright Office) was the sole witness in a hearing today with an ambitious title: “The Register’s Call for Updates to U.S. Copyright Law.” (An archived copy of the hearing is here) Her testimony provides a guide to the sorts of changes she thinks are necessary in the coming years.

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Post

Cell Phone Unlocking: The Root of the Problem (and Solution) is in Copyright

March 5, 2013 Copyright Office , DMCA , DRM , Internet Blueprint

Yesterday, the White House responded to a We the People petition on phone unlocking, stating that consumers should be able to unlock their cell phones and tablets. This puts the administration in line with a large number of consumers who are upset that the Library of Congress refused to exempt phone unlocking (modifying phone software so consumers can use their phones with a different mobile phone company) from the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (“DMCA.”)

However, the White House statement doesn’t reverse the Library’s decision, and nothing in the statement seems to suggest that it plans to.

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