Judiciary Committee Hearing on Moral Rights, Termination Rights, Resale Royalty, and Copyright Term

The U.S. House Judiciary Committee is holding a hearing on moral rights, termination rights, resale royalty, and copyright term.

Here's an excerpt from "Congress Takes On Copyright Term, Moral Rights, and More":

How is this going to work? It's hard to say. Probably not very well. The hearing structure allows a handful of witnesses to give very brief explanations of their views, but the question-and-answer format hasn't always been very productive. In the past, we've seen lawmakers in the committee raise pet issues instead of focusing on the topics on the agenda—take for example last month's hearing on the first sale doctrine, which included numerous questions about the unrelated issue of "piracy."

Moreover, in the absence of real public feedback during these hearings, the committee has sought to represent the public interest by inviting testimony from "both" sides of an imagined dichotomy. Hearings include witnesses from, say, a big company and a small company, a telecom and a publisher, or a copyright licensor and a licensee. This sometimes provides a good impression of balance, but on a panel addressing four separate issues, the odds seem long. It is also often the case that these "sides" don't include anyone who represents the public interest.

But let's not pass judgment before the hearing even takes place. For those who are watching the hearing, here is a primer on the four issues up for discussion:

Digital Scholarship | "A Quarter-Century as an Open Access Publisher"

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Author: Charles W. Bailey, Jr.

Charles W. Bailey, Jr.