Magazine article Information Today

Copyright Office Issues New Report on the Future of Copyright in a Networked World

Magazine article Information Today

Copyright Office Issues New Report on the Future of Copyright in a Networked World

Article excerpt

The Library of Congress has announced that the Copyright Office recently released a report titled "Project Looking ForwardSketching the Future of Copyright in a Networked World." According to the announcement, the report, commissioned from professor I. Trotter Hardy, is part of a continuing effort by the Copyright Office to examine the future of the Internet and related digital communications technologies, and to identify the legal and policy issues that might arise as a result.

The Internet and other digital technologies raise new issues for copyright law because they permit new ways of creating, using, and duplicating works of authorship. The report describes three "patterns" that arise as a copyright law confronts changing technology: new subject matter, new uses, and decentralized infringement. The report finds that decentralized infringementwhere copies can be made cheaply and distributed widely by individuals, as is possible on the Internet-presents the most significant challenge today for copyright law's accommodation of new technologies. In spite of these challenges, the report concludes that copyright law has had a long history of adapting to technological advances, and that the possibilities of digital exploitation will not render copyright law obsolete. …

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