American Society of Magazine Editors

Copyright Hearing Rallies House of Representatives Call for Updates to U.S. Copyright Law

May 3, 2013


After nearly two years of quiet on the copyright front, following the major battle over the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA), Congress is once again starting to talk about copyright and its evolution in the digital age.  On March 20, the Register of Copyrights testified before a House Judiciary Committee Subcommittee about the need for “bold adjustments” to copyright law.  This was followed by an announcement of likely full committee action in the coming months. 
Following comments MPA submitted to the Copyright Office in February on the issue of mass digitization, where MPA urged that any policy decisions impacting fair use be considered in a cautious and balanced manner. At a hearing before the House Judiciary Committee Subcommittee on Courts, Intellectual Property, and the Internet, the Register of Copyrights, Maria Pallante, offered testimony about the need for Copyright law to be updated, including adjustments to copyright terms and when documents become part of the public domain as technology continues to rapidly advance.  In addition to fair use issues, included in her testimony was a mention of statutory damages, efficacy of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, and a number of other issues of concern for Magazine Media.
Following the Hearing, House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) announced on April 24, 2013 that the committee will conduct an extensive review of U.S. Copyright Law in the coming months. Still a copyright industry at the core, Magazine Media will be at the center of the debates as the review commences.  Any change in copyright law is likely to be a multi-year process, which is why MPA is actively engaged in the process early and will continue to be engaged as it moves forward.