ALM Properties, Inc.
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Writing (and Righting) the Copyright Act
The last time Congress made a major revision to the Copyright Act, "the more advanced 8-track tape was pushing aside the less advanced reel-to-reel tapes in the audio marketplace," Representative Bob Goodlatte (R-Virginia) said during a speech in April at the Library of Congress. That was 1976—before the Internet and electronic books, and before music and software pirating were big business. Goodlatte, the new chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, also announced in April that he would hold a series of hearings over a period of several months on U.S. copyright law, and he welcomed interested parties to submit their views. "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," Goodlatte said. "There are concerns about statutory license and damage mechanisms. Federal judges are forced to make decisions using laws that are difficult to apply today."We asked Washington copyright attorneys to tell us what they expect from this push for reform.Excerpts follow.
Kenneth Kaufman ?