Today the House Judiciary Committee's Subcommittee on Courts, Intellectual Property, and the Internet is holding a hearing entitled “Moral Rights, Termination Rights, Resale Royalty, and Copyright Term.” The copyright termination right allows artists to reclaim their rights 35 years after selling or licensing them away. Public Knowledge filed written testimony discussing the importance of copyright termination and limited copyright terms.
The following can be attributed to Jodie Griffin, Senior Staff Attorney:
“The copyright termination right is an important tool to balance the unequal bargaining power in industry contracts between artists and content companies. Whether an artist is frustrated because her record label has refused to release her music, or she simply wants to negotiate a better deal or gain more control over her own career, copyright termination empowers artists and makes intermediaries more accountable to the artists they provide services to. Public Knowledge urges Congress to ensure artists continue to have meaningful and effective copyright termination rights.
“A robust public domain depends on reasonable copyright term limits. Copyright terms that are too long stifle the public's access to culture and artists' ability to build on existing works. Extensive terms also exacerbate orphan works problems, where works go unused because the copyright owner cannot be found, but the risk of copyright liability is too great to ignore. Public Knowledge recommends Congress implement a copyright term of the life of the author plus 50 years, and conduct economic analysis to determine the copyright term that would maximize the creation and availability of creative works.”
A copy of the testimony can be found here.
Members of the media may contact Communications Director Shiva Stella with inquiries, interview requests, or to join the Public Knowledge press list at firstname.lastname@example.org or 405-249-9435.