Tuesday, February 25, 2014

U.S. Copyright: Study on the "Right of Making Available" and "Communication to the Public"

The United States Copyright Office is undertaking a study at the request of Congress to assess the state of U.S. law recognizing and protecting “making available” and “communication to the public”' rights for copyright holders.  
The Office is requesting public comments on how the existing bundle of rights under Title 17 covers the making available and communication to the public rights, how foreign laws have addressed such rights, and the feasibility and necessity of amending U.S. law to strengthen or clarify our law in this area. The Copyright Office also will hold a public roundtable to discuss these topics and to provide a forum for interested parties to address the issues raised by the comments received. 
DATES: Comments are due on or before April 4, 2014. The public roundtable will be held on May 5, 2014, from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. EDT.

Possible Changes to U.S. Law

a)     If Congress continues to determine that the Section 106 exclusive rights provide a making available right in the digital environment, is there a need for Congress to take any additional steps to clarify the law to avoid potential conflicting outcomes in future litigation? Why or why not?

b)    If Congress concludes that Section 106 requires further clarification of the scope of the making available right in the digital environment, how should the law be amended to incorporate this right more explicitly?

c)     Would adding an explicit “making available”' right significantly broaden the scope of copyright protection beyond what it is today? Why or why not? Would existing rights in Section 106 also have to be recalibrated?

d)    Would any amendment to the “making available”' right in Title 17 raise any First Amendment concerns? If so, how can any potential issues in this area be avoided? If an explicit right is added, what, if any, corresponding exceptions or limitations should be considered for addition to the copyright law?

If there are any pertinent issues not discussed above, the Office encourages interested parties to raise those matters in their comments. http://www.copyright.gov/docs/making_available/

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