Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Internet companies want stronger Orphan Works provision in copyright law


Internet companies have lobbied for changes in copyright law to make it easier for them to publish works whose copyright owners cannot be located. The bill is S. 2913 “Shawn Bentley Orphan Works of 2008”, link here on Govtrack It passed the Senate and has been sent to the House Judiciary Committee. It probably will not pass during the lame duck session.

However Lawrence Lessig, a well known authority on the Internet and the law, has criticized the bill as having too many vague requirements and still likely to deny legitimate authors compensation. The story is on Marketwatch, by John Letzing, is called “Web firms’ cry for copyright clarity left hanging; Lessig calls legislation a ‘mess’; individual authors cry foul”, link here. The bill would require that a web publisher make only a “reasonably diligent” search to find the author in question.

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