Copyright is an interesting beastie, and a very necessary one. Without Copyright law, most open source licences and Creative Commons licenses would be worthless. Copyright is enshrined in the United States constitution, offering a limited-time protection on works to everybody. That includes folks like you and me who don’t have works worth hundred of millions of dollars, and who might not have the ability to mount a lawsuit.

Copyright is for everybody, even if your means are scant and your works only commercially worth a few cents. That’s why the United States Copyright office wants to hear from you, as a part of a congressional enquiry into remedies for Copyright small claims.

The Copyright Office has been asked by Congress to study the obstacles facing small copyright claims disputes, as well as possible alternatives. Specifically, the Office is to undertake a study to: (1) assess the extent to which authors and other copyright owners are effectively prevented from seeking relief from infringements due to constraints in the current system; and (2) furnish specific recommendations, as appropriate, for changes in administrative, regulatory and statutory authority that will improve the adjudication of small copyright claims and thereby enable all copyright owners to more fully realize the promise of exclusive rights enshrined in our Constitution. The initial notice of inquiry seeks comment on how copyright owners have handled small copyright claims and the obstacles they have encountered, as well as potential alternatives to the current legal system that could better accommodate such claims.

The US Copyright Office is accepting submissions until 16 January 2012.

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Categories: Copyright, Law.



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