For the half-year to 31 December 2014, the IPKat's regular team is supplemented by contributions from guest bloggers Rebecca Gulbul, Lucas Michels and Marie-Andrée Weiss.

Regular round-ups of the previous week's blogposts are kindly compiled by Alberto Bellan.

Friday, 5 April 2013

Fordham Focus 8: US Copyright

A Kat's casual
outfit in NYC
Following the cocktail reception at 10 on the Park, there is probably no better way to conclude an intense day at Fordham IP Conference than reporting on this afternoon's session on recent US copyright developments. 

The first panellist to speak was US Register of Copyrights Maria Pallante, who explained why US copyright needs to be updated. A few weeks ago, she indeed testified before the US House of Representatives on the need to reform copyright law and spoke about "the next great Copyright Act" (see 1709 Blog report here). 


Current legislative framework is perceived as outdated: the Copyright Act was adopted in 1976 (but negotiated in the 1960s) and the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) is already a teen-ager, being 15-year-old. In particular, duration of copyright and the set of exceptions and limitations should be revised. 


NY Public Library
on an early spring night
As Pallante incisively said, copyright is becoming increasingly unreadable and the result is that it is difficult for people to understand how it works (and sometimes even its rationale). This impairs both the operation and reputation of copyright law. She suggested that Congress stops reforming copyright following just a piecemeal approach and adopts a broader perspective instead.

Following Pallante's presentation, Thomas Kjellberg discussed recent judicial developments, devoting particular attention - among other things - to the recent judgment of the Supreme Court in Kirtsaeng (see Kat posts here and here), and last week's ruling in ReDigi (see 1709 Blog post here). With particular regard to the outcome in the ReDigi case, Prof Ochoa observed (and this Kat fully agreed  with him) that this ruling can be seen as a demonstration of what Pallante mentioned in her presentation, ie that US copyright is outdated.

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