Legislative Initiatives of Interest to
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112th Congress (2011-2012)
H. R. 2933: Sound Recording Simplification Act. “To amend title 17, United States Code, to remove the exclusion from Federal copyright of sound recordings fixed before February 15, 1972.”
Introduced September 14, 2011.
- Bill Summary and Other Legislative Info
Amends federal copyright law to remove a provision that, with respect to sound recordings fixed before February 15, 1972, prohibits:
(1) any rights or remedies under the common law or statutes of any state from being annulled or limited by federal copyright law until February 15, 2067; and
(2) subjecting such sound recordings fixed before February 15, 1972, to federal copyright before, on, or after February 15, 2067.
- Sept. 14, 2011:
Referred to the House Committee on the Judiciary.
- Sept. 23, 2011:
Referred to the Subcommittee on Intellectual Property, Competition and the Internet.
111th Congress (2009-2010)
No significant legislative intitatives impacted moving image preservation during this Congressional session.
110th Congress (2007-2008)
1. H.R. 5893: Library of Congress Sound Recording and Film
Preservation Programs Reauthorization Act of 2008. “To reauthorize
the sound recording and film preservation programs of the Library
of Congress, and for other purposes.” Introduced April 24, 2008.
2. Orphan Works Act of 2008
April 24, 2008: Legislation Introduced in Both U.S. House (H.R. 5889)
and Senate (S. 2913). Press
Release from Congressional Sponsors
H.R. 5889 “Orphan Works Act of 2008”
S.2913 “Shawn Bentley Orphan Works Act of 2008”
3. Section 108 Study Group
4. Do-It (Digital Opportunity Investment Trust)
Legislation Digital Promise Passed by Both Houses Of Congress on July 31, 2008. Copy of Section 802 (the relevant section),
Press Release, and Fact Sheet. Visit http://www.digitalpromise.org/ for
Status: Legislation (H.R. 4137) passed by Congress on July 31, 2008). Signed into law August 14 as PL110-315.
5. H.R. 4279: Prioritizing Resources and Organization for
Intellectual Property (PRO IP) Act of 2007
6. Enforcement of Intellectual Property Rights Act of 2008 (S.3325)
7. Platform Equality and Remedies for Rights-holders in Music
(PERFORM) Act of 2007. S.256. “A bill to harmonize rate
setting standards for copyright licenses under section 112 and 114
of title 17, United States Code, and for other purposes.”
- Copy Legislation and Bill Summary: S.
2913 “Shawn Bentley Orphan Works Act of 2008,”
- April 24, 2008: S.2913 introduced in U.S. Senate
- May 15, 2008: Senate Judiciary Committee unaimously passed the
bill during a mark-up session. The legislation now moves to the
full Senate for a floor vote and has been placed on Senate Legislative
Calendar under General Orders. Calendar No. 738. Here are list
of changes made to S2913 (PDF, 53KB) via “manager’s amendment” during
the May 15 mark-up.
- September 26, 2008: U.S. Senate passes S. 2913 by unaninous consent.
- For background info and history on the “orphan works” issue, visit
this blog by
Joe Keeley, until recently the lead House copyright subcommittee
staffer, and a key player in orphan works legislative history. See
below (Orphan Works Act of 2006) for even more history.
8. Fair Use Act of 2007
- Current Status: S. 256 introduced on January 11, 2007. More information,
including text of bill and legislative status at: PERFORM Act legislation
Introduced as a stand-alone bill, HR1201, a bill “To amend title 17,
United States Code, to promote innovation, to encourage the introduction
of new technology, to enhance library preservation efforts, and to
protect the fair use rights of consumers, and for other purposes.”
Current Status: Legislation introduced February 27, 2007. Has been referred
to the House Judiciary Committee and its Courts, the Internet and Intellectual
Property subcomittee. 9. Intellectual Property Enforcement Act of 2007
10. H.R.4128 Criminal Code Modernization and Simplification
Act of 2007
11. H.R. 4789 Performance Rights Act
To provide parity in radio performance rights under title 17, United
States Code, and for other purposes.
109th Congress (2005-2006)
1. U.S. Copyright Office Orphan Works Inquiry “The
Copyright Office is examining issues raised by “orphan works,” i.e.,
copyrighted works whose owners are difficult or even impossible to
locate. Concerns have been raised that the uncertainty surrounding
ownership of such works might needlessly discourage subsequent creators
and users from incorporating such works in new creative efforts, or
from making such works available to the public.”
2. Orphan Works Act of 2006
- Home Page
Register “Notice of Inquiry”
to Initial Public Comments
Transcript, July 26, 2005, Washington, D.C. (PDF, 458KB)
Transcript, July 27, 2005, Washington, D.C. (PDF,
Transcript, August 2, 2005, Berkeley, CA (PDF,506KB)
- Report issued January 31, 2006 and submitted
to U.S. Senate Judiary Committee
- Recent/Upcoming Actions. The Courts, Internet
and Intellectual Property subcommittee of the House Judiciary Committee
held a public oversight hearing on the Orphan Works report at 2 p.m. on March
8, 2006. The Senate Committee on the Judiciary Subcommittee on
Intellectual Property held a hearing on the Orphan Works proposal
on April 6, 2006. Here is “Orphan
Works: Proposals for a Legislative Solution” which provides
additional information on the hearing including a video webcast
and copies of written statements.
Legislation should be introduced shortly.
Introduced as a stand-alone bill, HR5439, Bill
of Bill (PDF,
Legislation introduced May 22, 2006
Passed House Judiciary Courts, Internet and Intellectual Property Subcommittee
on May 24, 2006
Has moved to full House Juduciary Committee for consideration Has also been introduced as Title 2 of HR6052, the Copyright Modernization
Act of 2006
of Bill (PDF,
HR6052 contains legislative provisions already passed by the Courts,
Internet and Intellectual Property Subcommittee so it is also pending
in full House Judiciary Committee for Consideration
There is a proposed but not yet introduced “Manager’s
35KB) to HR6052. The Orphan Works provisions begin on page
6. This amendment would exempt photographs, graphic arts and sculpture
from the provisions of the legislation until the United States Copyright
Office designs and implement a searchable database for these formats,
a task this amendment mandated the USCO do on or before December 1,
2011. 3. Preservation of Orphan Works Act A technical
amendment fixing a problem in Section 108(h-i) of U.S. Copyright Law;
the problem had been caused via a drafting error in the Sonny Bono
Copyright Term Extension Act of 1998 which prevented films from being
eligible for the Section 108(h) exemption. Now, libraries and archives
will be allowed to make copyrighted works (including films) available
during the final 20 years of that work’s copyright, assuming three
conditions are met. Here is the Section 108(h-i) text as it stands
now after the April 2005 amendment:
§ 108. Limitations on exclusive rights: Reproduction by libraries
and archives... (h)(1) For purposes of this section, during the last 20 years of
any term of copyright of a published work, a library or archives, including
a nonprofit educational institution that functions as such, may reproduce,
distribute, display, or perform in facsimile or digital form a copy
or phonorecord of such work, or portions thereof, for purposes of preservation,
scholarship, or research, if such library or archives has first determined,
on the basis of a reasonable investigation, that none of the conditions
set forth in subparagraphs (A), (B), and (C) of paragraph (2) apply.
(2) No reproduction, distribution, display, or performance is authorized
under this subsection if --
(A) the work is subject to normal commercial exploitation;
(B) a copy or phonorecord of the work can be obtained at a reasonable
(C) the copyright owner or its agent provides notice pursuant to regulations
promulgated by the Register of Copyrights that either of the conditions
set forth in subparagraphs (A) and (B) applies.
(3) The exemption provided in this subsection does not apply to any
subsequent uses by users other than such library or archives.
(i) The rights of reproduction and distribution under this section
do not apply to a musical work, a pictorial, graphic or sculptural
work, or a motion picture or other audiovisual work other than an audiovisual
work dealing with news, except that no such limitation shall apply
with respect to rights granted by subsections (b), (c) and (h), or
with respect to pictorial or graphic works published as illustrations,
diagrams, or similar adjuncts to works of which copies are reproduced
or distributed in accordance with subsections (d) and (e).
4. National Film Preservation Act of 2005 Part of Public
Law 109-9, the “Family Entertainment and Copyright Act of 2005.” Provisions
in this new public law involved 1) the National Film Preservation Board,
and 2) the National Film Preservation Foundation.
5. Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) Rulemaking
As part of a periodic review, the Librarian of Congress, on the recommendation
of the Register of Copyrights, has announced the classes of works subject
to the exemption from the prohibition against circumvention of technological
measures that control access to copyrighted works. Persons making noninfringing
uses of the following six classes of works will not be subject to the
prohibition against circumventing access controls (17 U.S.C. § 1201(a)(1))
during the next three years. These new exemptions include: 1) Audiovisual
works included in the educational library of a college or university’s
film or media studies department, when circumvention is accomplished
for the purpose of making compilations of portions of those works for
educational use in the classroom by media studies or film professors.
More information is available from the Copyright Office. 6. Public Domain Enhancement Act
Would amend title 17, United States Code, to allow abandoned copyrighted
works to enter the public domain after 50 years.
If you have questions concerning this page or would like to suggest
additional legislative projects for inclusion, please email Donna Ross email@example.com.