This week, the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Courts, Intellectual Property and the Internet heard testimony from music, photography and movie industry representatives hoping for stronger national copyright codes. It remains to be seen, however, how strongly this familiar refrain may sway legislative opinions as Congress continues its pursuit of comprehensive copyright reform fit for the digital age.
"Our goal in reviewing licensure laws should be to protect creativity and still allow for an active and intelligent marketplace for searching and licensing creative works," John Lapham, general counsel for Getty Images, told the panel. "When we do so we can all benefit from content that moves, inspires, provokes, educates and encourages."
According to The Hill, Copyright Alliance executive director Sandra Aistars expressed her concern that government leaders may be heading down the wrong path to progress, suggesting that the online piracy prevention best practice recommendations recently issued by the White House (with guidance from Google, Microsoft and Yahoo) were not particularly pragmatic for small operations and independent artists. Additionally, delegates from various industries elaborated on detailed scenarios by which broadening interpretations of fair use could have dire economic consequences.
Some observers were less than impressed with the proceedings, according to GigaOM, with many suggesting that niche concerns such as the fate of the 3D movie industry were being elevated over more important discussions such as the erosion of content from the public domain. In any case, the testimony will soon be joined by insights offered by technology industry representatives in the coming weeks.