House Judiciary Committee Sets Up First Hearing On Copyright Reform

from the and-away-we-go dept

With comprehensive copyright reform back on the table in the US, and with Rep. Bob Goodlatte looking to lead the process, he's hosting the first House Judiciary Committee hearings on the matter, with the initial focus focused on finding consensus. They're starting with five witnesses, all of whom participated in the Copyright Principles Project, which we wrote about a few years ago when it came out. At the time, we wondered if anyone would pay attention to it, so it's actually great to see that it's front and center in this discussion.

That document -- which was put together by a wide variety of folks from different backgrounds -- looked at 25 possible areas for reform. All five witnesses participated in the process:
  • Jon Baumgarten, retired Proskauer Rose attorney and former General Counsel of the U.S. Copyright Office (noted litigator on copyright matters including music and movie issues)
  • Laura Gasaway, Professor, University of North Carolina Law School and co-chair of the Section 108 Study Group (libraries)
  • Daniel Gervais, Director, Vanderbilt Law School Intellectual Property Program (international issues)
  • Pam Samuelson, Professor, University of California at Berkeley Law School (convenor of the CPP and copyright law scholar)
  • Jule Sigall, Assistant General Counsel for Copyright, Microsoft and former Associate Register for Policy and International Affairs of the U.S. Copyright Office (tech)
Having Samuelson on the list is the key one, as she was the driving force behind the project and is one of, if not the most, knowledgeable folks concerning copyright issues around. I recognize that any copyright reform process could go seriously off the rails once certain lobbyists go crazy over it, but I'm going to take an optimistic approach here and hope for the best. Starting from this position with the folks who were involved in this process is a good place to start, though we'll see where it goes from here.

Filed Under: bob goodlatte, copyright, copyright principles project, copyright reform, daniel gervais, house judiciary committee, jon baumgarten, jule sigall, laura gasaway, pam samuelson


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  1. icon
    Violated (profile), 8 May 2013 @ 11:45pm

    Slappy Happy

    As I have been involved in the fight against zealous monopoly market control via exclusive copyright since 1997 then I am ecstatic to read such news.

    Back over a decade ago even seeing lawmakers and politicians undertake such a discussion was only an impossible pipe dream that no one could imagine. We could only help people to achieve their fair use entertainment desires while being very critical of the market structure that existed.

    That was the seed from an even older seed that helped to shape the situation that we have now in terms file-sharing, news, political action and even religion. The countless thousands of people who work daily should be proud of themselves for simply helping others.

    As I can see the big picture then now is not the time to see huge changes in copyright law when odds are that political lobbying will stamp out our desires. Now is only the time to take this amazing step to have politicians listen to our rational greed-free demands. The change has begun and some will indeed listen and understand when we have no desire to harm content creation only to... free the market.

    Look at what we have achieved so far when hundreds of millions of people knowingly defy unjust laws. We in our anger have killed SOPA and PIPA while putting ACTA in a coma. Around 13 million people stopped SOPA as much of the Internet blacked out. Then 200,000 people did indeed march against ACTA in Europe. Wow those furious people left their keyboards behind to take down that near unstoppable trade agreement that the Commission tried to sneak into Europe as a 'fish'.

    As I said I am ecstatic when I can see that wherever work is needed that people do step up and take their place. We need to change the World and I won't lie to you when this is a massive change still falling close to impossible but we can change the world and all we need to do is to take our place and to be there at the right time.

    Be happy, new ground has been broken, where the MAFIAA are running scared. Keep pushing, let them run.

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