House Judiciary Plans Comprehensive Review of Copyright

Signals It's Time for New Look in Light of New Technology
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The House Judiciary Committee will conduct a sweeping review of copyright law over the next several months to determine whether those laws "still work" in the digital age.

Rep. Bob Goodlatte, chairman of the committee, announced the review, including a series of hearings, on World Intellectual Property Day.

"The Internet has enabled copyright-owners to make available their works to consumers around the world, but has also enabled others to do so without any compensation for copyright owners," he said on Thursday.

That issue hits home with the major studios, who have pressed the government to better protect their works from online piracy, and to broadcasters, who are fighting Aereo over whether copyright law covers Internet delivery of over-the-air signals.

"[I]t is my belief that a wide review of our nation's copyright laws and related enforcement mechanisms is timely," he said.

Copyright issues are also expected to be part of that committee's oversight of the reauthorization of the Satellite Television Extension and Localism Act, which provides a blanket copyright license for the importation of distant TV network signals.