Copyright Office Q&A Session About The New Online DMCA Designated Agents Directory — Franklin Graves chats with US Copyright Office attorney-adviser Jason Sloane about the Copyright Office’s recently updated DMCA Designated Agent Directory. Service providers wanting to avail themselves of the DMCA safe harbors are required to provide current contact information with the US Copyright Office.

Statutory damages in copyright law: “On forgetting how to read a statute” — An interesting deep dive into language in the 1909 Act related to statutory damages. “The ‘shall not be regarded as a penalty’ clause becomes a parade example of why scholars need to know the contemporaneous legal-intellectual milieu to read statutory terms. Legal scholars are of course aware that to be good readers of a legal text, we need to read it in its legal context. But that point is usually expressed in terms of relatively specific and discrete categories, such as ‘terms of art’ and ‘background presumptions.’ Gómez-Arostegui’s essay is a reminder of how our appreciation for legal-intellectual context should not be reduced down to those categories.”

Cox Must Pay $8 Million to Cover BMG’s Legal Fees in Piracy Case — Last year, a jury found ISP Cox liable for willful infringement and awarded music publisher BMG $25 million in damages. This week, Judge O’Grady awarded an additional $8 million in attorney’s fees to BMG. The question of whether to award damages followed the standard set by the Supreme Court several months ago in its Kirtsaeng II decision.

The song remains the same: Exceptionalists against the application of the law — Neil Turkewitz shares a recent article he penned that “highlights the problems associated with a school of internet exceptionalism that would treat the internet as largely outside the reach of laws and regulations — not by affirmative legislative decision, but by virtue of jurisdictional default.”

Goodlatte Announces Agenda for 115th Congress — That agenda includes advancing the House Judiciary Committee\’s ongoing review of copyright law. Goodlatte says, “At the end of 2016, we issued our first bipartisan proposal to ensure the Copyright Office keeps pace in the digital age. Among the reforms contained in our first proposal are granting the Copyright Office autonomy and requiring it to maintain an up-to-date digital, searchable database of all copyrighted works. This proposal is the first of what we intend to be numerous policy proposals to reform aspects of our copyright laws.”

Creating a USCO Capable of Succeeding in a Changing World [PDF] — The Judiciary Committee policy proposal mentioned above also refers to the creation of a small claims process. In its comments to the Committee, an ad hoc coalition of visual artists—who are essentially shut out from enforcing their rights in federal court due to litigation costs—thoroughly cover the many details of the small claims process that would need to be addressed to make it a reality.

Police Seize Domains of Fifty ‘Pirate’ Newspaper and Magazine Sites — One tends to think of movies and music when one thinks of piracy, but any creative work that can exist in digital form is likely being distributed illegally online. TorrentFreak reports on a recent operation by Italian authorities that successfully shuttered a large scale pirate operation illegally distributing “‘vast quantities’ of material originally published by major newspapers and periodicals including Cosmopolitan, Fashion Magazine, and Vanity Fair.”

IP Scholars Explain Why We Shouldn’t Use SurveyMonkey to Select Our Next Register of Copyrights — “Rather than crowd sourcing the job description, the Librarian should review the Copyright Act and consider candidates that would be best qualified to fulfill the explicit and established standards of 701(b). By handing this over to anyone willing to fill out a SurveyMonkey form, the Library of Congress is politicizing a process that shouldn’t be politicized. The letter warns that ‘[w]hile it is often laudable to seek public input on important issues of policy, an online survey seeking input on job competencies from any internet user is an inefficient and inappropriate approach for developing selection criteria for this important role, particularly where such minimal background is provided to survey-takers and where there appears to be no mechanism to encourage constructive comments.'”‘

It’s Time to Modernize the Copyright Office — Gabriel Horwitz lays out the case for what needs to be done to make sure the Copyright Office can meet the challenges of a 21st century copyright system. Fortunately, the House Judiciary Committee has already begun work on the issue, issuing a policy proposal on Copyright Office reform last month, with public comments due Tuesday.

What Does an Independent Film Producer Do? A Conversation with Jeff Sharp — CreativeFuture sits down with Sharp, producer of films such as Boys Don’t Cry and You Can Count On Me, to discuss the role of the film producer, and the challenges and opportunities that indepedent film producers face.

Reading The Game: Red Dead Redemption — Jason Sheehan, writing at NPR, reveals that his favorite Western of all time is… a video game? A great reminder of the storytelling potential of a medium often perceived as shoot-em-ups and RPGs.

CBS, Paramount Settle Lawsuit Over ‘Star Trek’ Fan Film — In the wake of a court ruling putting a damper on the production of an unauthorized Star Trek derivative work, the two parties have settled. According to Eriq Garnder at THR, the producers of Axanar will continue production of their film after agreeing to make “substantial changes” as part of the settlement.

Bandcamp Reports Strong Growth, Adding 2000 Indie Labels, Hundreds of Thousands of Artists in 2016 — The site, which is open to any recording artist and focuses on physical and digital sales of music rather than subscriptions and streaming, announced positive performance over the past year.

VidAngel: It’s Not About Filtering — Jonathan Bailey takes a look at a case that has so far flown a bit under the radar. Currently on appeal to the 9th Circuit after a District Court granted the plaintiff’s motion for a preliminary injunction, Disney v VidAngel raises a number of issues, including Section 1201, first sale, and fair use, but defendants argue their video on demand service is authorized by an obscure provision in the Copyright Act that allows viewers to filter out mature elements from authorized copies of movies.

Digital copyright laws must protect content creators — Neil Turkewitz writes, “In a recent Hill op-ed, Public Knowledge’s Charles Duan and R Street’s Sasha Moss call for the Supreme Court to weigh in on a ten-year-old copyright case involving notice and takedown, copyright and a dancing baby. But their piece dances around inconvenient truths, and is predicated upon a rather ‘transformative’ use of reality.”

Lee staying on as patent chief under Trump administration — Yesterday, news broke that the Obama-nominated Michelle Lee will remain on board as Director of the US Patent and Trademark Office in the incoming administration. Despite its name, the USPTO also advises other Federal agencies on copyright policy.

Newman on Vested-Use Privileges in Property & Copyright — A common criticism of copyright is that it impinges on a person’s personal property rights. That is, if a copyrighted work is embodied in some material object like a book or a toaster, the owner of that object is limited by copyright law by what they might otherwise be able to do with that object. In this law review article, Christopher Newman offers a compelling argument in response to that criticism.

On January 12, 1977, Barbara Ringer, the register of copyrights, was presented the President’s Award for Distinguished Federal Civilian Service in 8 ceremony at the White House. This award, the highest honor for extraordinary achievement in the federal career service, cited the leading part taken by her in the movement to revise the copyright law and pointed out that her “energy, ability, and concern for the property rights of those who create literature, the arts, and science have ensured continuation of that creativity, thus enhancing life for all people.” Ms. Ringer had already received from the Librarian of Congress, shortly after the revision bill was cleared for passage, the Distinguished Service Award, the highest award offered by the Library, in recognition of her contribution to the quest for modern copyright legislation.

Library of Congress, 80th Annual Report of the Register of Copyrights, For the Fiscal Year Ending September 30, 1977

Peter Bart: How Content Creators Are Exploited By Monoliths Apple, Google, Facebook — Bart writes, “Why is it that, while vastly more creative content is being consumed worldwide, less revenue is flowing to the people who create it? This is the issue probed by Jonathan Taplin in an important new book that demonstrates how intellectual property has been hijacked by what he calls the new ‘marketing monoculture’ led by Facebook, Amazon and Google.”

Photographer Gets Cyberbullied After Defending Photo Copyright — As this story demonstrates, as important as it is for artists and creators to stand up for their rights, it’s rarely easy.

Transcribed Proceedings of CONTU — Zvi Rosen has provided another goldmine of copyright geekery reading pleasure: hundreds of pages of transcripts from the Commission on New Technological Uses of Copyrighted Works, established by Congress in 1974 as part of its broader copyright revision effort to focus on novel issues of technology such as photocopying and copyrightability of computer software.

A Bunch of Weak Anti-Piracy Measures Are Still a Pest to Pirates — Torrentfreak reports, “Clearly, none of these measures are good enough to hit piracy hard enough to kill it, but the barriers to entry are being raised. In addition to a fast broadband service, a decent VPN provider is now almost essential for many file-sharers, whether that’s for circumventing blockades or avoiding those pesky sharing warnings. Equally, keeping on top of the latest news, changes, developments, and domain switches can be a time-consumer in itself. That certainly wasn’t the case ten years ago. And if that isn’t enough, running the junk ad gauntlet requires a skill set all of its own, one that can potentially affect all sites running in a browser, whether they’re guilty of bad behavior or not.”

Fix the value gap – a reply to Michael Geist — Canadian attorney Barry Sookman discusses the value gap, the reallocation of value from creators to internet platforms due to free-riding on unauthorized content. Writes Sookman, “Online providers of services such as YouTube and Facebook would unquestionably be liable for substantial copyright infringements but for the safe harbours established around the world including in the U.S. under the DMCA. These legislative exceptions – which were pushed for by technology companies precisely to limit their liabilities – have enabled technology companies to avoid paying licensing fees (or fair market value fees) for which they would otherwise have been liable.”

2016: The Year We Stopped Listening To Big Tech’s Favorite Excuse — Charlie Warzel at BuzzFeed writes, “But in 2016, Big Tech’s well-practiced excuse became less effective. The idea that their enormous and deeply influential platforms are merely a morally and politically neutral piece of the internet’s infrastructure — much like an ISP or a set of phone lines — that should remain open, free, and unmediated simply no longer makes ethical or logical sense.”

‘Star Trek’ Fan Film Dispute Goes to Jury Trial in Big Ruling — In a ruling on motions for summary judgment, District Court Judge Klausner rejected Axanar’s talismanic “fan fiction” fair use argument. He also ruled that the planned Star Trek spinoff film was objectively substantially similar to Paramount and CBS’s works but the question of subjective substantial similarity was necessarily a question for the jury.

Breaking Windows — At CreativeFuture, film distributor Meyer Shwarzstein discusses the critical importance of “windowing” to indie films. “Do we need independent distributors? In 1948, the US Government became concerned that there was too much power in too few people’s hands. Once the chain of distribution was broken, more voices found their way into the marketplace and more talent was developed. And while this benefited viewers by bringing them more, diverse content, it also benefited the studios that are continually looking for emerging talent.”

Disney’s multiplane camera, an innovation in illusion — A great example of how those in the creative fields are also responsible for technological innovation as well.

Standing up for Songwriters: A Journey Through Recovery — Finally, in the must-watch video below, entertainment attorney Dina LaPolt talks about her recovery and how it informs her advocacy for songwriters.

As I’ve done in previous years (2015 and 2016), I’d like to take a look ahead at what we may expect in the world of copyright policy in the year ahead. The difficulty of that task is markedly greater this year—a new Administration will take the lead of the Executive Branch at the beginning of the year, and that brings with it a shift in priorities and entirely new agenda. Congress too, will begin a new term. But even the Copyright Office, which is outside the Executive Branch, faces some uncertainly—it has been operating without a permanent Register of Copyrights at its lead since October. That means the sands could shift quickly over the next twelve months, rendering the predictions below meaningless.

Executive Branch

Let’s turn first to the Executive Branch, which administers areas impacting copyright such as enforcement, trade, and antitrust. In addition, the Administration, through the Department of Commerce, oversees the US Patent and Trademark Office, which advises it and other federal agencies on intellectual property policy, including copyright.1Though by statute, this responsibility is shared with the Copyright Office, which resides in the Legislative branch. USPTO copyright policy work may not “derogate from the duties and functions of the Register of Copyrights or otherwise alter current authorities relating to copyright matters,” and “In exercising the Director’s powers and duties under this section, the Director shall consult with the Register of Copyrights on all copyright and related matters.” 35 USC § 2(c).

President-elect Trump will be inaugurated on January 20, beginning the symbolic first 100 days of his administration. Copyright has not been explicitly mentioned in any outline of policy priorities for those first 100 days.2Which is not surprising, since copyright has rarely, if ever, ranked high on the agenda for any President. Even beyond the first 100 days, there have been few public statements from President-elect Trump or his advisors regarding copyright. In a recent article at IP Watchdog, copyright policy expert Marla Grossman reads the tea leaves to see what we might expect from a Trump administration in that area.

But beyond the front-page policy items, there is a lot of ongoing work within the Executive Branch that continues across Administrations. For example, the Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator’s Joint Strategic Plan for 2016-2019 was released last month and will likely be relied upon by those agencies with IP enforcement responsibilities. Its recommendations include continuing a “follow the money” approach to combat online commercial piracy and reducing online piracy by increasing the ability of consumers to locate content through lawful means.

The Director of the USPTO is a political appointee, so eyes will be on who may take over the helm of that department if current Director Michelle Lee decides not to remain in the position. In a recent interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Lee discussed copyright reform efforts and her Office’s ongoing work in that area. The USPTO is currently working on issues that it addressed as part of the Department of Commerce’s Internet Policy Task Force in its White Paper on Remixes, First Sale, and Statutory Damages, released at the beginning of 2016. Last month, the department held a public meeting which looked at “ways to promote a more robust and collaborative digital marketplace for copyrighted works.” The meeting “focus[ed] on initiatives in this space that relate to standards development, interoperability across digital registries, and cross-industry collaboration, to understand the current state of affairs, identify challenges, and discuss paths forward.” Director Lee has said of the issues discussed at the meeting and on the issue of first sale in the digital environment, the USPTO will “continue to convene and encourage multiple stakeholders to convene on best practices and so forth. There’s still lots of work to be done.”

US Copyright Office

The US Copyright Office is charged, among other things, with the statutory duty to “Advise Congress on national and international issues relating to copyright.”317 USC § 701(b)(1). But before looking at the substantive work the Office may take on 2017, let’s take a look at a matter far more pressing to the Office: the appointment of the next Register of Copyrights. Since October, the Office has been without a permanent Register, following the Librarian of Congress’s de facto termination of Maria Pallante (occurring only five weeks into the new Librarian’s tenure).

The move fueled plenty of speculation about the motivations of the Librarian, but the real question for 2017 involves the future of the Copyright Office. Will the move advance efforts to modernize the Copyright Office? Those calls have come consistently over the past several years, beginning in earnest with former Register Pallante’s 2013 article The Next Generation Copyright Office and producing an extensive public record identifying the challenges facing the Office as it currently operates and potential solutions for giving it the tools to effectively meet the challenges of a 21st century copyright system.4See, e.g., Pallante, The Next Generation Copyright Office, 61 J. Copyright Soc’y 213 (2014); House Judiciary Committee hearing, Oversight of the US Copyright Office (Sept. 18, 2014); House Judiciary Committee hearing, US Copyright Office: Its Functions and Resources (Feb. 26, 2015); House Appropriations Legislative Branch Subcommittee budget hearing, Architect of the Capitol and Library of Congress (Feb. 26, 2015); Senate Appropriations Legislative Branch Subcommittee budget hearing, FY16 Library of Congress and Architect of the Capitol (March 17, 2015); House Judiciary Committee hearing, Register’s Perspective on Copyright Review (April 29, 2015); US Copyright Office, Strategic Plan 2016-2020 (Dec. 1, 2015); House Administration Committee hearing, Improving Customer Service for the Copyright Community (Dec. 2, 2015); US Copyright Office, Provisional Information Technology Modernization Plan and Cost Analysis (March 1, 2016); House Appropriations Legislative Branch Subcommittee budget hearing, Architect of the Capitol and Library of Congress and US Copyright Program Project and Activity Review (March 2, 2016); Senate Appropriations Legislative Branch Subcommittee budget hearing, Library of Congress and Architect of the Capitol FY17 (March 15, 2016). In response, last year, Representatives Judy Chu (D-CA) and Tom Marino (R-PA) introduced H.R. 4241, the Copyright Office for the Digital Economy Act, to address many of the challenges identified in the operation of the Copyright Office—including making the Register of Copyrights a Presidential appointee (with the advice and consent of the Senate).

In December, the House Judiciary Committee issued a policy proposal addressing reform of the Copyright Office. It too recommended that while the Office remain within the Legislative Branch, the Register of Copyrights should be appointed by the President with the advice and consent of the Senate. Significantly, the proposal said that “the next Register and all that follow should be subject to [this] nomination and consent process.” (Emphasis added). However, the Librarian, apparently ignoring the Committee’s clear instructions, moved ahead a few days later with its own process to appoint the next Register, the first step of which includes that time honored method of collecting public input via Survey Monkey. We will likely see further developments in this area in the weeks and months to follow.

Nevertheless, the Copyright Office has not slowed down its regular policy work. It currently is working on two major ongoing policy studies. The first involves Section 1201, which prohibits certain anticircumvention devices used to access or copy copyrighted works. The Copyright Office, following an initial round of public comments and public roundtables last year, collected a second round of public comments this past autumn. The second study involves Section 512, which establishes safe harbors against infringement claims for internet service providers engaged in certain acts. The Copyright Office is currently engaged in a second round of public comments for that study. It’s possible the Office will release one or both final reports some time in 2017, although it’s also likely one or both won’t arrive until a later year. The Office had also begun work in 2016 on a potential update for Section 108, which permits reproduction by libraries and archives for preservation and archival purposes, and on moral rights. It would not be surprising to see additional work on either of these issues in 2017.

Congress

As noted above, the House Judiciary Committee released a policy proposal for reforming the US Copyright Office and will be taking public comments through the end of January. The proposal is the latest step in the Committee’s ongoing copyright review process, which began in 2013. However, it is not the last step. When the proposal was released, Judiciary Chairman Goodlatte said, “Nothing should be read into the fact that we are only releasing a policy proposal on one topic today. This is just the beginning of this stage of the copyright review, and we intend to release policy proposals on music licensing issues and other individual issue areas in time.”

A number of bills relating to music licensing have already been introduced during the 114th Congress. These include the Fair Play Fair Pay Act (H.R. 1733), which would, among other things, extend the public performance right for sound recordings to audio transmissions such as AM/FM terrestrial radio and the Songwriter Equity Act, (S. 662 and H.R. 1283) which adjusts the ratesetting process for the statutory license for public performance of sound recordings by digital audio transmission. It’s possible these or similar bills will be reintroduced in the 115th Congress as part of the Judiciary Committee’s process.

The Judiciary Committee’s policy proposal also called for a small claims process within the Copyright Office. The Office released a report recommending such a process in 2013, recognizing that federal litigation is too costly for individual copyright owners creating works of low individual economic value. Two bipartisan bills were introduced last Congress that would create a process consistent with the Office’s recommendations: the Copyright Alternative in Small Claims Enforcement Act of 2016 (H.R. 5757) and the Fairness for American Small Creators Act (H.R. 6496). It’s likely we will see futher action on this issue over the next year.

Finally, last year, the President sent two copyright related treaties to the Senate for advice and consent. The Beijing Treaty on Audiovisual Performances provides an international framework for protecting the rights of motion picture, TV, and other audiovisual performers in their performances. The Marrakesh Treaty to Facilitate Access to Published Works for Persons Who Are Blind, Visually Impaired, or Otherwise Print Disabled addresses the “book famine” for literary works in accessible formats by requiring parties to create limitations allowing authorized entities under certain circumstances to reproduce and distribute books in accessible formats to beneficiaries, as well as authorized entities in other countries that are a party to the treaty. The Senate did not pass a resolution recommending ratification before the end of the year, so it may be possible we see that occur in 2017.

References   [ + ]

1. Though by statute, this responsibility is shared with the Copyright Office, which resides in the Legislative branch. USPTO copyright policy work may not “derogate from the duties and functions of the Register of Copyrights or otherwise alter current authorities relating to copyright matters,” and “In exercising the Director’s powers and duties under this section, the Director shall consult with the Register of Copyrights on all copyright and related matters.” 35 USC § 2(c).
2. Which is not surprising, since copyright has rarely, if ever, ranked high on the agenda for any President.
3. 17 USC § 701(b)(1).
4. See, e.g., Pallante, The Next Generation Copyright Office, 61 J. Copyright Soc’y 213 (2014); House Judiciary Committee hearing, Oversight of the US Copyright Office (Sept. 18, 2014); House Judiciary Committee hearing, US Copyright Office: Its Functions and Resources (Feb. 26, 2015); House Appropriations Legislative Branch Subcommittee budget hearing, Architect of the Capitol and Library of Congress (Feb. 26, 2015); Senate Appropriations Legislative Branch Subcommittee budget hearing, FY16 Library of Congress and Architect of the Capitol (March 17, 2015); House Judiciary Committee hearing, Register’s Perspective on Copyright Review (April 29, 2015); US Copyright Office, Strategic Plan 2016-2020 (Dec. 1, 2015); House Administration Committee hearing, Improving Customer Service for the Copyright Community (Dec. 2, 2015); US Copyright Office, Provisional Information Technology Modernization Plan and Cost Analysis (March 1, 2016); House Appropriations Legislative Branch Subcommittee budget hearing, Architect of the Capitol and Library of Congress and US Copyright Program Project and Activity Review (March 2, 2016); Senate Appropriations Legislative Branch Subcommittee budget hearing, Library of Congress and Architect of the Capitol FY17 (March 15, 2016).

I hope all my Copyhype readers are enjoying the holidays. As we get ready to ring in the New Year, I’ve posted below a number of articles either looking back at copyright news in 2016 or looking forward to 2017. Enjoy!

Year End Review: Insiders Reflect on the Biggest Copyright and Trade Secret Moments of 2016 — IP Watchdog asks a number of experts to take a look back at the major US developments over the past year in copyright and trade secrets.

2016 the Copyright Year — The 1709 Blog recaps notable developments in copyright law from courts in the US, UK, Europe, and beyond.

2016 Was the Year Torrent Giants Fell — TorrentFreak notes that a number of major sources for distributing infringing movies, music, and other creative works ceased operations over the past year, either voluntarily or because of enforcement actions.

President Obama’s IP Advisor Talks Reform Efforts and a New Administration — USPTO Director Michelle Lee talks with The Hollywood Reporter about ongoing copyright policy work and what the US may expect under a new Administration.

Trump on Copyright: How the Trump Administration will approach copyright law and potential copyright reforms — Marla Grossman makes some “educated guesses” about what a Trump Administration might mean for the US copyright agenda.

Industry executives reflect on 2016 — MusicWeek’s Emmanuel Legrand sits down with a number of music industry execs to look at major developments in that space over the past year, as well as what to look out for over the upcoming year.

RIAA Exec: 2017 Will be a “Critical Year” for Music Law (Q&A) — Finally, The Hollywood Reporter speaks with RIAA General Counsel Steve Marks to get his take on what litigation and legislative efforts the recording industry is keeping an eye on in 2016.

Everyone is handing in their reports before the holidays. This week, the Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator published its 2017-2019 Joint Strategic Plan on Intellectual Property Enforcement, while the US Copyright Office released a report on Software-Enabled Consumer Products.

Congressional panel calls for independent Copyright Office — Last week, the House Judiciary Committee released a policy proposal that would give the Copyright Office the autonomy over IT, staff, and budget that it needs in order to bring the Office into the 21st century. The Washington Post’s Peggy McGlone looks at the proposal in more detail, including reactions from constituents.

Public Knowledge’s Lonely Echo Chamber of Copyright Advocacy — Geoffrey Manne and Neil Turkewitz write, “Public Knowledge’s implication that it is a better defender of the ‘public’ interest than those who actually serve in the public sector is a subterfuge, masking its real objective of transforming the nature of copyright law in its own, benighted image. A questionable means to a noble end, PK might argue. Not in our book. This story always turns out badly.”

Breaking Down the Fairness for American Small Creators Act — Last week, we also saw the introduction of HR 6496, the Fairness for American Small Creators Act. Jonathan Bailey takes a deep dive into the bill, which would set up a voluntary copyright claims process as an easier and less costly alternative to federal litigation.

Hollywood Studios Win Injunction Against Streamer VidAngel — A federal judge rejected all of the opportunistic arguments against VidAngel, finding the service not a clever workaround of copyright law, but rather an unlicensed video-on-demand service. VidAngel has vowed to take the case all the way up to the Supreme Court.

Fair Use… The Final Frontier? — Finally, next week, the Central District Court of California will hear arguments on motions for summary judgment in Paramount v Axanar, a case involving an allegedly unauthorized spin-off of Star Trek. Paramount argues that the film at issue is little more than an infringing derivative work of the many Star Trek television episodes and films, while Axanar argues either that their film does not share substantial similarities with any of Paramount’s works or that any infringement is excused by fair use. By Grabthar’s Hammer, expect many clumsy Star Trek references when the hearing is reported.

Goodlatte & Conyers Release First Policy Proposal of Copyright Review — A lot of copyright developments this week! Leading the pack, members of the House Judiciary Committee released a document outlining the first proposal to arise out of its copyright review process, which began in 2013 and included 20 hearings. The proposal addresses the Copyright Office itself in an effort to modernize it for the 21st century. It also calls for the creation of a small copyright claims process.

Reps. Judy Chu and Lamar Smith Introduce Small Claims Reform for Creators — Speaking of small copyright claims, the same day the above proposal was released, Reps. Chu and Smith announced their own bill for a small claims process. The process is modelled on the recommendations of the Copyright Office in its 2013 report on the issue, and the bill joins a similar one introduced this summer by Reps. Jeffries and Marino.

Core Copyright Industries add $1.2 Trillion to US Economy and Employ 5.5 Million American Workers — The International Intellectual Property Alliance this week released its 2016 report on the economic contributions of the core copyright industries. Along with the headline figures, the report finds that sales of US copyright products in overseas markets topped $177 billion in 2015, outpacing other major industries such as chemicals, aerospace, and agriculture.

Masnick Makes a Hash of Fair Use & Censorship — David Newhoff writes, “As a general statement, it is true that fair use is a free-speech-based exception to copyright, but most speech-related, or press-related, uses almost always relate to other forms of expression, including journalism, and they rarely implicate the ‘transformative’ standard being referred to by the News Media Alliance.”

A Lawyer Digs Into Instagram’s Terms of Use — A quick primer on what you are agreeing to when you upload images to the popular social network.