Senator seeks updates to “outdated” copyright law

| Nov 17, 2020 | Intellectual Property Litigation |

New Jersey residents can have their say in the future of copyright law. Senator Thom Tillis is seeking recommendations on how to modernize the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.

The Act was passed in 2000 and introduced significant changes to how royalties are shared between musicians and platforms, especially as it pertained to digital music. However, many are claiming that the language of the Act has become outdated in the face of recent technological advancements.

The Senator outlined his concerns in an open letter he posted on the United States Copyright Office’s website. The letter states, “I have found that the universe governed by copyright law has changed dramatically and that laws that may have worked well at the end of the previous millennium are not working as well today.”

More specifically, the letter invites comment on how to revise the language allocating responsibility for identifying and striking down infringing materials. Currently, the burden rests primarily on the copyright owners, a balance that the Senator sees as “inefficient.”

A controversial act

Senator Tillis is only the latest in a long line of DMCA critiques, many of whom view the law as too intrusive. At times, even mundane and incidental uses of copyrighted material have incurred seize and desist letters.

Recently, the popular streaming service Twitch encouraged content creators to mute background music in their videos to avoid a DMCA complaint. Another dispute centered on a popular software used to download YouTube videos, which was taken down after the Recording Industry Association of America filed a DMCA complaint.

Navigating a complex statute like the DMCA is challenging and requires in-depth knowledge of copyright law. Whether a DMCA complaint is being filed or contested, it is recommended to seek the assistance of an experienced copyright lawyer to help with navigating the process.

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