The US Register of Copyrights Maria Pallante appeared before the US House of Representatives Subcommittee on Courts, Intellectual Property and the Internet Committee on the Judiciary last month. In her prepared remarks, the director of the US Copyright Office said that a major portion of the current copyright statute was enacted in 1976 but it has been 15 years since Congress acted expansively in the copyright space. “My message is simple. The law is showing the strain of its age and requires your attention,” Pallante said. “As many have noted, authors do not have effective protections, good faith businesses do not have clear roadmaps, courts do not have sufficient direction, and consumers and other private citizens are increasingly frustrated. The issues are numerous, complex, and interrelated, and they affect every part of the copyright ecosystem, including the public at large.”
Copyright protection remains an important issue for all sorts of artists and creators, and Pallante’s call to modernize copyright law is important to countless individuals who need better protection for their intellectual property rights as technology continues to evolve. Mike Masnick, the founder and CEO of the technology blog Techdirt, wrote that many of the website’s commenters “rightfully cheered” on a suggestion from Pallante that “the focus of copyright law should be on large scale piracy, rather than the teenager downloading at home.” However, Masnick took issue with Pallante’s lack of specific recommendations and said her calls for tougher penalties—such as felony charges instead of misdemeanor for copyright infringement—were a key element of the ill-fated Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA). One notable SOPA supporter, the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) circulated a memo that said, “MPAA member companies welcome a continuation of the ongoing discussion of the importance of copyright.” However, MPAA chairman and CEO Chris Dodd told members of Silicon Valley in a speech at the Commonwealth Club in San Francisco last October, “What I don’t want to do is relive the SOPA debate—and I hope you don’t either.”
Los Angeles copyright infringement lawyer Robert G. Klein understands that intellectual property laws can be confusing for many individuals and companies, and he has more than 25 years of experience helping clients understand their rights. Additional information about copyright infringement is available on our website. If you are seeking copyright protection for your own work or you need legal assistance filing a copyright claim, contact our firm at (323) 653-3900 or complete the form on this page to let our Los Angeles business litigation attorney review your case.
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