Category United States

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 […]

Forbes: Music Revenue Figures Show Industry Running In Place

My latest column in Forbes is an analysis of the U.S. recorded music revenue figures for 2015 that the RIAA released last week.  Total revenues are $7 Billion – a figure that has remained almost exactly the same for six years now. This would suggest that $7 Billion is the amount that the American public […]

Panel at NAB Will Consider the New World of Open Set-Top Boxes

I’ll be moderating a breakfast panel during the NAB trade show in Las Vegas in mid-April: The FCC’s Open-STB World: What Does It Mean for Content Security? Back in February, the FCC approved a proposal that will require pay television operators to let users choose their own access devices instead of using the set-top boxes (STBs) […]

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 […]

Copyright Office Launches Inquiries into DMCA

Last week, the U.S. Copyright Office published Notices of Request and Public Comment for both parts of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act: Section 512 (limitations of copyright liability for online service providers) and Section 1201 (prohibition of DRM circumvention).  Jacqueline Charlesworth, General Counsel of the Copyright Office, will be discussing both of these — and more […]

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