Copyright reform in the US

The US is undertaking a major reform in the intellectual property system, particularly in the area of copyright.

This substantive review is taking place after Maria A Pallante testified in March 2013 that the current IP laws were antiquated and in need of reform with the masses of technological developments: “if one needs an army of lawyers to understand the basic precepts of the law, then it is time for a new law.”

The US Commerce Department released a “green paper” on the 31st July on “Copyright Policy, Creativity, and Innovation in the Digital Economy” with the intention of initiating discussion on policies.

As access to copyrighted works is made freely available through platforms such as downloads and streaming via the internet the urgency for a timeless IP legal structure becomes more apparent. Flexible legislation which covers existing and future technologies would be the ideal way of keeping up to date with developments.

The relevance of international legal systems also becomes imperative to understand as we move towards a ‘global information society’ with online transactions involving sometimes more than one legal jurisdiction.

With the European Union aiming to harmonize intellectual property laws it is necessary to understand the relevance of international legislation and how it affects our work.

This review resurfaces the age old debate on how ‘strong’ copyright should be. The constant battle between the freedom of information and the protection of works for rights holders continues!

If you want to know how these reforms affect you and your intellectual property then contact one of the solicitors at Lawdit.

This article was written by Saowanee Kristin, a post-graduate student on work experience at Lawdit.

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