Copyright Office Holds a Roundtable on Publishers’ Protections

On December 9, the U.S. Copyright Office held a roundtable regarding its Study on Ancillary Copyright Protections for Publishers. The roundtable consisted of three panels, focusing on the main topics highlighted in the Office’s original Notice of Inquiry. The Alliance was represented in all three panels, in addition to attendance by Professor Jane Ginsburg and economist Hal Singer who supported the Alliance’s positions. The Alliance highlighted the current state of the news media industry in the United States and the detrimental effect news aggregators and online platforms have on news publishers, in addition to emphasizing the need for action. In particular, the Alliance noted the need for the Copyright Office to change its policy statements on words and short phrases, to develop a way for publishers to register dynamic web content, and for the Congress to pass the Journalism Competition and Preservation Act. Some other participants, including those representing the big tech companies, argued that the issue is not of copyright but competition law and therefore not within the Copyright Office’s purview. The Copyright Office initiated the study following a request from Congress, with the aim of completing it by May 2022. The Office is accepting additional written comments from stakeholders until January 5. Read the Alliance’s initial comments here and more about the study here.

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