For a good summary of the details, see:
Here's some highlights from this summary:
"U.S. Representatives Zoe Lofgren (D-San Jose) and John Doolittle
(R-Rocklin) today introduced the Public Domain Enhancement Act,
legislation that will ensure that abandoned works pass into the public
domain so that others can preserve, archive, and build upon them...
"As described at http://eldred.cc, the Act would require American
copyright owners to pay a very low fee fifty years after a copyrighted
work was published. If the owner pays the fee, the copyright will
continue for whatever duration Congress sets. If they do not, the work
would pass into the public domain.
"Also today, the American Association of Law Libraries, the American
Library Association, and the Association of Research Libraries sent a
letter to Congress expressing their support for the Act... The
libraries join a growing list of groups and individuals endorsing the
Act. Earlier this month film directors and actors sent Congress a
letter of support for the Act. On June 20, Archivists sent one as well.
And on June 3rd, citizens launched an online Petition to Reclaim the
Public Domain, urging Members of Congress to support the Act."