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Public Knowledge calls for copyright reform

Written by Rich Fiscus (Google+) @ 28 Oct 2007 22:35 User comments (5)

Public Knowledge calls for copyright reform Public Knowledge, a consumer rights advocacy group specializing in intellectual property issues, released a proposal calling for an overhaul of U.S. copyright laws last Friday. They're calling their proposal a "Six-Point Program for Copyright Reform."
First among the six points is fair use reform. Public Knowledge is recommending the addition of "incidental, transformative and non-commercial personal uses of content" as well as indexing for searches to the list of fair use exemptions.

The group would also like to see the results of the 1984 BetaMax lawsuit codified in copyright law. In that case the Supreme Court ruled that Sony wasn't liable for copyright infringement because video recording technology has “substantial non-infringing use.”

On the subject of the Digital Millenium Copyright Act, Public Knowledge is recommending revisions that would deter improper takedown requests. DMCA takedown requests are issued by copyright holders to force the removal of infringing material from web pages.

Two more points are related to licensing terms. The Public Knowledge proposal calls for simplifiying the process of identifying copyright holders for works. In cases where copyright information can't be identified after a "good faith search" they'd like to see any damages for infringement restricted.

Finally, they want to require copyrighted content to be distributed with text that clearly lays out consumer rights, instead of allowing warnings like those included with many products.

"Pre-VCR copyright policies must be transformed to embrace our new user-generated culture," Public Knowledge President Gigi B. Sohn said in a speech to the New Media and the Marketplace of Ideas Friday. "For the past 35 years, the trend has been nearly unmitigated expansion of the scope and duration of copyright, resulting in a clear mismatch between the technology and the law. Over the past decade, copyright reformers like Public Knowledge have stopped the pendulum from swinging even farther away from digital reality. Now it is time to move the pendulum towards the future and away from the past."

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5 user comments

128.10.2007 22:39

What kind of loopholes does this have in it?

From what vurbal posted it sounds great to me and hope it gets passed, that is as long as it really does what it looks like its supposed to.

228.10.2007 23:49

Wow! Finally some news that stands to benefit the consumer instead of the multi million $ corporations! The current laws must be reformed, either that or the big corps need to prepare for what seems to be eminent...a consumer boycott that will cripple the industry!

329.10.2007 10:42

It's about time! Alot of that stuff needs to be reformed or updated alltogether.

This looks like it's something that could actually benefit consumers and consumers rights!

About time!

429.10.2007 13:17

Finally! A retalliation from the know-hows...

51.11.2007 17:38

Interesting concepts however like pop smith said i wonder where and what the loopholes are.

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