Analysis of the Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism (USA PATRIOT) Act, Public Law 107-56, part of the Congressional response to September 11.
One of the principal provisions of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act ("DMCA") is a limitation on the potential money damages that Online Service Providers ("OSPs"), including libraries and educational institutions, could face when they function like a common carrier, allowing online users access to copyrighted material placed there by someone else. Rather than confront huge financial claims if the third party material infringes someone's copyright, OSPs can escape liability provided they comply with these new rules.
At the urging of the United States, a new "digital agenda" recently has been added to the range of issues under consideration in a long-running series of negotiations convened by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO). Currently, the U.S. is pressing for the early conclusion of international agreements on a number of issues as to which the Congress has yet to legislate and the U.S. copyright community remains deeply divided. In the longer term, this effort to shape global intellectual property policy before achieving domestic consensus could have the unintended consequence of jeopardizing both the U.S. leadership role in the field and the interests of U.S. copyright-related industries and institutions.
The Digital Millennium Copyright Act ("DMCA"), which is the centerpiece of the legislative strategy for the Clinton Administration and Congressional leaders responsible for copyright bills, was passed in the closing days of the 105th Congress. It is a very complex Act, which generated controversy and left unfinished business in its wake. As a result, high on the list of "must-dos" for the 106th Congress will be issues leftover from the DMCA.
Special issue of "Policy Perspectives", co-sponsored by the Association of Research Libraries, the Association of American Universities, and the Pew Higher Education Roundtable. This Policy Perspectives is about the challenge of maintaining access to significant researchand scholarship at a time when both the volume and price of information have increased nearly three-fold in the last decadealone.
Paper disucssing fair use in digital environments, and particularly about the work of the Conference on Fair Use (or CONFU) to work out guidelines for "fair use" in educational and library settings now that digital, networked communication and publishing is becoming common. Presented at The National Federation of Abstracting and Information Services in Philadelphia, PA on February 27, 1996.