Saturday, September 5, 2015

More Experts Realizing That The TPP Is A Horrible And Dangerous Deal On Copyright

While the last round of TPP negotiations didn't lead to a deal, and some are questioning whether the agreement has effectively "stalled out," there's still plenty to be concerned about, and the TPP still has a decent chance of moving forward in the near future. David Post, who has studied copyright law and related issues for many years, has a fascinating article up discussing "some pretty nasty" aspects for copyright law, which are "lurking" in "a dark corner" of the agreement. He focuses on the issue of orphan works, which are works where the owner can't be found. As we've discussed in the past, the entire "problem" of orphan works is really a problem created by the automatic application of copyright, rather than requiring registration ("formalities.") By automatically having copyright cover everything, there is no way to easily track down many copyright holders for the purpose of licensing. The Copyright Office has been struggling for years on how to deal with this issue (never apparently willing to explore the issue of returning to a registration requirement). However, as we noted earlier this year, under the current draft of the TPP, the Copyright Office's own proposal on orphan works would not be allowed.

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