Category Law

2017 Conference: New Website, New Panel

I’m pleased to announce the launch of a dedicated website for the Copyright and Technology 2017 conference.  You can find all the details about agenda, sessions, speakers, and so on.  Registration is live now, with earlybird discounts available through November 24, and there are still plenty of speaking slots available if you would like to […]

FCC to Vote Thursday on Open Set-Top Box Ruling

The Federal Communications Commission is set to vote this Thursday on a rule that would require pay-TV operators in the United States to make their services available on third-party devices in addition to the set-top boxes (STBs) that they currently require subscribers to rent from them.  This week’s vote has more drama than usual because one of […]

A World Without DMCA 1201

The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) last Thursday filed a lawsuit against the U.S. government (the Attorney General, Library of Congress, and Copyright Office), in an attempt to have Section 1201 of the Copyright Act found unconstitutional.  Section 1201 is the provision that makes it a violation of copyright law to circumvent (hack) DRMs and other “technical protection measures.” The nominal […]

Copyright Office Opens Inquiry on Digital Rights for Libraries

Yesterday the U.S. Copyright Office announced that it is looking for input into revising Section 108 of the copyright law, the section that gives libraries and archives special rights to copy and distribute materials.  Although much of Section 108 deals with making physical copies of materials for preservation purposes, some of it is supposed to apply […]

Imagining the Future of the Copyright Office

The U.S. Copyright Office sits within the Library of Congress. It uses the Library’s IT infrastructure and is subject to the Library’s budget process, and the decisions it makes are subject to the Librarian of Congress’s approval, although that’s usually a rubber stamp. When James Billington retired as Librarian of Congress last September, many viewed it […]

Copyright Office Makes Making Available Available

You know the old philosophical conundrum: If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?  Here’s an analogy in the world of digital copyright: if a file is made available online and no one is around to download it, is that evidence of possible copyright infringement? In […]

PTO Weighs In on Digital First Sale

A little-known fact about the US Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) is that it advises the executive branch of government (the president and his administration) on copyright issues — just as the US Copyright Office advises Congress on copyright.  Although the Copyright Office’s efforts over the past couple of years to overhaul the country’s copyright […]