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. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 9 May 2013 @ 4:45am

    Who's gonna get left out?: Abolitionists

    Who's going to get left out of the hearings?

    I'll name one group right now. The copyright abolitionists are not going to be invited. That means, for those of you who think that copyright is just too irredeemably messed-up to save, you're going to have to make your voices heard in other ways.

    Fortunately, ABOLISH COPYRIGHT is short enough to fit on a picket sign.

     

    Standard theory for sucessful insurgency suggests that we need to engineer a split between the “moderate reformers” and the “radical abolitionists”. That enables teh establishment to negotiate with the moderates, while condemning the radicals. The theory goes on to suggest that this split must —in a sense— be genuine, to avoid the establishments' predictable claim that the moderates are just radicals in disguise, or at least colluding with the radicals.

    In this case, though, I suggest that we throw the standard theory out the window. I don't really see a good reason why “moderate reformers” should be afraid to acknowledge that their views extend through a range all the way to “radical abolition”.

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