Corporate content interests are scrambling to get their talking points coordinated to explain and defend their secret back room deals and negotiating that have been an issue that everyone knew was going on (but now confirmed with the recent leak of documents). Read more here from Tech Dirt.
The Copyright Extension Act was passed 15 years ago pushed through Congress by lobbyists for the Disney Company. The act has another 5 years on the books before expiring but opposition against the extension is expected to be much greater next time around. Read more here from the Washington Post.
As reported by The Guardian the Hollywood Lobby, one of the strongest in Washington, is lobbying for passage of a copyright treaty that would in effect limit access to reading materials including educational resources to the blind. Read more here. What is happening here is that the motion picture industry is trying to do an end run around domestic law by getting something passed on the international level that will then bind the United States and require domestic law to conform to the international standard.
The ARL joined over 80 other organizations in asking Congress to end the power of various government agencies to engage in dragnet spying of Americans personal telephone, email, social media, and credit card information. While not a copyright issue the Copyright Roundup believes this is a vital topic which librarians have an obligation to speak out on and follows our tradition against censorship and propaganda and increasing access to information for a more informed citizenry.
Hollywood interests are attempting to make it more difficult for the blind to accesss content in a battle to increase copyright protection. We’re not really surprised but you would think that the folks that supposedly have all the marketing savvy in the world would at least realize how this would play out. Read more from Ars Technica.
Budget cuts resulting from the sequestration may harm the ability of the Library of Congress to fully go forward with digitization and other preservation efforts. Read more here
from The New York Times.
The chairman of the Judiciary Committee has announced plans to look into comprehensive copyright reform – this is welcome news (so long as they do it right) but it will take a concerted effort by those who want a more enlightened copyright law to fight those who would like to lock down materials forever. While we’re waiting (and it could be awhile considering the pace of this Congress) check out 5 suggestions to improve current copyright law from Tim B. Lee over at Ars Technica.