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2019 in US Copyright Law and Policy

7 January 2019

From Copyhype:

It’s a new year, and the world is split between those who call it “two thousand nineteen” and those who say “twenty nineteen.” What can we expect in U.S. copyright law and policy over the next twelve months? Let’s take a look.

. . . .

Among the first set of issues that the Committee might take up this year is copyright small claims. Last session, Reps. Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY) and Tom Marino (R-PA) introduced the Copyright Alternatives in Small Claims Enforcement (CASE) Act, which would have created a streamlined tribunal for hearing small copyright claims based off recommendations made by the US Copyright Office in its 2013 report on small copyright claims. The Committee held a hearing on the bill just this past September, with a number of members indicating support for moving the bill forward.

We may also see a bill addressing resale royalty rights. A resale royalty provides visual and fine artists—who often rely primarily on income from the sale of their individual works rather than licensing their exclusive rights provided through copyright—with the opportunity to capture a percentage of the proceeds when their works are resold through art auctions. Although there have been a number of resale royalty right bills introduced in previous Congressional sessions that never advanced, there are at least two indications of greater momentum this session: first, the issue’s biggest supporter, Chairman Nadler, is now in charge of the Committee, and second, the most recent bill, the American Royalties Too Act of 2018, was introduced in both the House and Senate by Judiciary Committee leaders, giving it a higher stature than previous versions of the bill.

. . . .

At the end of this month, the [U.S. Patent and Trademark Office] has scheduled a conference on the intellectual property considerations of artificial intelligence. The topics to be discussed include “the copyright implications when AI is used to create new works or when copyrighted works are used to ‘train’ artificial intelligence systems.”

Link to the rest at Copyhype

Copyright/Intellectual Property

5 Comments to “2019 in US Copyright Law and Policy”

  1. I still see the ‘resale royalty rights’ bill as a bad idea, mainly because it could then be applied to other things that are already covered under first sell rules.

    The architect and builders should get another payment if you sell your home – right? How about the painter that improved its street appeal?

    Or better yet, the painter that created that design that helped your classic car sell for twenty times the book value, they deserve their cut.

    Will you have to pay the publisher a little something extra if you try to donate some old books to the library?

    As it is now the writer/painter gets what they can off their time/work, if they want more money they make/write/paint another one. If they think it’s worth more than the offer they can/should just say ‘no deal’.

    MYMV and you get what you think your work is worth.

    • I have no interest in reading about their proposal, but i hope it doesn’t apply to previous purchases. If it does that shows you what legal theft the government’s have become.

      If I’m going to owe you a certain percentage when I sell it, I’m not paying you anything near what I would have otherwise paid. And to tact on a future tax after the fact, that would seem so illegal to me.

      But again, I’m not a criminal\politician in Washington dc and if they pass the law i guess I have to hope for political judges to agree with my views. I won’t hold my breath. After all their salaries are paid by legal theft…. I mean taxes.

      • And that’s the problem – if this is allowed then it’ll take away from the value of the object. And if it’s never sold (or destroyed) the artist ends up with less than they would have gotten. (On that side note – could the artist sue you for perceived value if you collected insurance after your house and their art went up in smoke?)

        Too many ways to game such a bill because you know it’ll be broad enough to fly a boatload of loopholes through …

        MYMV and you not get stuck with this.

  2. After 30 years of litigating copyright cases in federal court, I firmly believe that copyright small claims is a good idea. The CASE Act isn’t perfect by any means, but it is a start.

    Last August, a client and I met with Joe Keeley, Chief Counsel of the Subcommittee on Courts, Intellectual Property, and the Internet of the House Judiciary Committee. The CASE legislation had stalled. Our goal was to get a hearing on the calendar in the last session. You just never know what moves the wheels in D.C. and it was worth a try. I like to think our visit was instrumental in getting the hearing scheduled.

    I watched the hearing in September. I distilled the hearing into an 8-minute video, if you’d care to watch. You can find it in this post: Copyright Small Claims Act: Update. The Kavanaugh hearings were going on that same day. So the CASE Act didn’t get much coverage.

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