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DNS Provisions to be Removed from SOPA
Today, January 13, 2012, Rep. Smith (R-TX), Chair of the House Judiciary Committee, announced that he plans to remove the controversial DNS provisions from the “Stop Online Piracy” (SOPA) (H.R. 3261) bill. In a statement Smith said, “After consultation with industry groups across the country, I feel we should remove Domain Name System blocking from the “Stop Online Piracy Act” so that the Committee can further examine the issues surrounding this provision. We will continue to look for ways to ensure that foreign websites cannot sell and distribute illegal content to U.S. consumers.”
European Union to Focus on Digital Content Policy in 2012
The Digital Agenda for Europe, a project of the European Union (EU), issued its Annual Progress Report for 2011on December 22nd. The project’s primary goal is creating a single digital market to boost entertainment download and streaming services across borders, including simplifying content licensing and harmonizing online payments access.
The key provisions in Europe’s big digital content policy project for 2012 include:
Copyright Protection for Pre-1972 Sound Recordings
The U.S. Copyright Office has issued its report on Federal Copyright Protection for Pre-1972 Sound Recordings. The report, prepared after receiving written and oral input from stakeholders, recommends that sound recordings made before February 15, 1972 be brought into the federal copyright regime.
Congress instructed the Copyright Office to conduct a study on the desirability of and means for bringing pre-1972 sound recordings into the federal copyright regime. Congress directed that study was to cover the effect of federal coverage on the preservation of such sound recordings, the effect on public access to those recordings, and the economic impact of federal coverage on rights holders. The study was also to examine the means for accomplishing such coverage.
Copyright Office Announces Proposals Received in DMCA Anticircumvention Rulemaking
The United States Copyright Office seeks comments on proposals to exempt certain classes of works from the prohibition on circumvention of technological measures that control access to copyrighted works. In September 2011, the Office initiated a rulemaking proceeding in accordance with provisions added by the Digital Millennium Copyright Act ("DMCA") that provide that the Librarian of Congress, upon the recommendation of the Register of Copyrights, may exempt certain classes of works from the prohibition against circumvention. The purpose of this rulemaking is to determine whether there are particular classes of works as to which users are, or are likely to be, adversely affected in their ability to make noninfringing uses due to the prohibition on circumvention. This notice publishes the classes of works received by the Office that were proposed by several parties in the comment period that ended on December 1, 2011.
SOPA Markup on Hold
The House Judiciary Committee postponed the Wednesday, December 21, 2011 markup of the “Stop Online Piracy Act” (SOPA) (H.R.3261) because the House would not be in session, according to a committee staff person. The markup will likely resume early next year. The earliest the committee could meet would be January 17, 2012 when the House session resumes. The committee began its markup of the bill on Thursday, December 15, 2011 and voted on 28 of the proposed 66 amendments before adjourning on Friday, December 16, 2011 due to a series of House floor votes.
SOPA-PIPA-OPEN: Where are we now?
OPEN: Alternative to SOPA/PIPA Released
Today, Sen. Wyden (D-OR) and Rep. Issa (R-CA) released their alternative to SOPA (H.R. 3261) and PROTECT IP (PIPA)(S. 968). The Online Protection and Enforcement of Digital Trade (OPEN) Act is “built to protect creative ownership in American while securing the open, accessible Internet …” What is particularly interesting is that they have put up an entire website called KeepThe WebOpen.com, which is designed to encourage participation and feedback.
Alternative Online Piracy Legislative Proposal Released
A discussion draft proposal has just been released by a bipartisan group of legislators to serve as an alternative approach to SOPA, the House bill and PROTECT IP (PIPA), the Senate bill, in combating online piracy. The authors of this draft framework for discussion include Sens. Maria Cantwell (D-WA), Jerry Moran (R-KS), Mark Warner (D-VA), and Ron Wyden (D-OR), as well as Reps. Darrell Issa (R-CA), Zoe Lofgren (D-CA), Jason Chaffetz (R-UT), Lloyd Doggett (D-TX), Anna Eshoo (D-CA), and John Campbell (R-CA).
EDUCAUSE Submits Proposed Targeted Fixes to SOPA
Over the past few weeks, EDUCAUSE, together with members of the EDUCAUSE Government Relations for Information Technology (GRIT), has met with the staff leadership of the House Judiciary Committee to express concerns about the “Stop Online Piracy Act” (SOPA), H.R. 3261 (See blog posts of October 28th and November 15th for background information). Based on these discussions, the group has submitted proposed legislative language to the Committee that provides suggestions for how SOPA might be modified to address our issues.
The U.S. Office of Science and Technology Policy Issues Two Requests for Information
The U.S. Office of Science and Technology Policy has recently issued two calls for public comment. One deals with policies for access to peer-reviewed journal articles reporting on federally funded research. The public input provided through this Notice will inform deliberations of the National Science and Technology Council's Task Force on Public Access to Scholarly Publications.