Register of Copyrights Testimony Will Conclude 2-Year Congressional Copyright Review

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Maria Pallante, U.S. Register of Copyrights, will testify at a House Judiciary Committee hearing Wednesday morning.

Maria Pallante, U.S. Register of Copyrights, will be the lone witness in a Wednesday morning hearing that will give Congress guidance on the copyright issues it will address in the coming years. "The Register's Perspective on Copyright Review" to be held at 10 a.m. EST before the full House Judiciary committee, concludes two years of Congressional review of copyright issues that will greatly impact the music industry of the coming decades.

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Pallante's written testimony -- she will be given 10 minutes of testimony at the hearing, a source tells Billboard -- points to the Copyright Office's music licensing report released in February. The report called for, among other things, more equal footing for musical works and sound recordings, a shift to market-oriented approaches and the establishment of a performance right for broadcast radio.

Her testimony also proposes a new alternative to federal court for infringement cases valued at $30,000 or less, stronger penalties for illegal streaming and orphan works legislation that reduces current uncertainty and closes legal gaps.

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Other issues could get legislation further down the road. Pallante suggests further study on Section 512 (takedowns, notice and safe harbor) and creators' moral rights such as the ability to reject specific uses.

Two years ago, Pallante appeared at a hearing and urged Congress to consider passing what she called "the next great copyright act." A month later, Congress began a copyright review to determine, as House Judiciary Chairman Bob Goodlatte said, "whether the laws are still working in the digital age." Goodlatte will have his answer Wednesday. 


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