The advent of the digital age has changed the ways in which intellectual property law must be both constructed and enforced. The changing needs of the business and entrepreneurial communities have caught the attention of Congress, which is now contemplating the best ways to approach copyright infringement issues specifically. The urgency of this need was recently made plain by the top official in the U.S. Copyright Office who has described the system as broken.
She has specifically charged Congress with constructing comprehensive reform of intellectual property laws generally and “the next great copyright act” specifically. The chair of the House Judiciary Committee has begun taking the first steps towards such comprehensive reform by committing the group to a review of current copyright law focused on addressing the changing nature of technology.
The Internet has become an invaluable tool of business. However, its vast capacities have made it difficult to police. As a result, copyright infringement is now occurring on a global scale and with great ease. U.S. copyright law has not adequately evolved with the changing nature of the global, digital marketplace. Many intellectual property experts hope that Congress will address this issue both swiftly and comprehensively.
Among the issues that Congress will be forced to grapple with if its reforms are to be effective are locating infringers, statutory license challenges, calculation of damages and the changing needs of those filing complaints. Much like immigration and healthcare, copyright reform must be comprehensive, carefully thought-out and approached with an understanding of the evolving nature of the issue if it is to be relevant and successful on any significant scale.
Source: The Verge, “House Judiciary Chairman plans comprehensive review of US copyright law,” Sean Hollister, Apr. 24, 2013