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U.S. Copyright Office
NewsNet

November 24, 1999
Issue 68

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For additional information, visit the Copyright Office
homepage at www.loc.gov/copyright.

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CONTENTS

* News *

Federal Register

     Copyright Office to Conduct Rulemaking on Exemption to
Prohibition on Circumvention of Copyright Protection Systems
for Access Control Technologies (64 FR 66139)

Legislation

     Congress Sends Intellectual Property Bills to President

* Calendar *

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* NEWS *

---------------Federal Register---------------

For the complete text of Federal Register announcements,
visit the Copyright Office Website at www.loc.gov/copyright
or the Government Printing Office Website at
www.access.gpo.gov/su_docs/aces/aces140.html

COPYRIGHT OFFICE TO CONDUCT RULEMAKING ON EXEMPTION TO
PROHIBITION ON CIRCUMVENTION OF COPYRIGHT PROTECTION SYSTEMS
FOR ACCESS CONTROL TECHNOLOGIES (64 FR 66139)
     Section 1201(a)(1) of the Copyright Act, which was
added by the Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998,
provides that the Librarian of Congress may exempt certain
classes of works from the prohibition against circumventing
a technological measure that controls access to a
copyrighted work. The Copyright Office will conduct a
rulemaking proceeding to determine whether there are classes
of works as to which users are, or are likely to be,
adversely affected in their ability to make noninfringing
uses if they are prohibited from circumventing such
technological measures. The Office has published a notice of
inquiry requesting written comments from all interested
parties, including representatives of copyright owners,
educational institutions, libraries and archives, scholars,
researchers, and members of the public. Comments are due
Feb. 10, 2000. Reply comments are due March 13, 2000. The
notice of inquiry can be found on the Copyright Office
Website at http://www.loc.gov/copyright/fedreg/64fr66139.pdf
or http://www.loc.gov/copyright/fedreg/64fr66139.html.


---------------Legislation---------------

CONGRESS SENDS INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY BILLS TO PRESIDENT
     Prior to adjourning for the Thanksgiving holiday,
Congress passed and sent to the President several measures
amending title 17, the copyright law. On Nov. 19, Congress
passed the Intellectual Property and Communications Omnibus
Reform Act of 1999 (S. 1948) as part of the consolidated
appropriations bill (H.R. 3194). Chief among its provisions
is the extension of the satellite carrier compulsory license
found in section 119 of title 17, which permits the
retransmission of distant television station signals. The
license was set to expire on Dec. 31. It is now extended
until Dec. 31, 2004.
     In addition, the bill creates a new royalty-free
compulsory license at section 122 of title 17 for
retransmission of local television stations by satellite
carriers. For the first time, satellite carriers will be
able to legally offer local stations to their viewers, a
right cable operators have always had. Congress also reduced
the royalty fees that satellite carriers must pay for
superstation and network rebroadcasts.
     Among a number of other provisions relating to the
satellite license, Congress modified the mechanism for
determining when a subscriber is eligible to receive distant
network stations.
     The Intellectual Property and Communications Omnibus
Reform Act of 1999 also contains a number of technical
amendments relating to the Vessel Hull Design Protection
Act, which is chapter 13 of title 17. Most importantly, the
sunset provision of chapter 13 was removed, so that chapter
13 now will become a permanent part of the law. Among other
changes is an expanded definition of a "vessel."
     The definition of a work made for hire in section 101
of title 17 was amended to include "sound recordings" in the
list of types of specially ordered or commissioned works
that may be works made for hire if the parties expressly
agree in a written instrument.
     The bill removes the requirement that a Copyright
Office rulemaking pursuant to section 1201(a)(1), required
under last year's Digital Millennium Copyright Act
legislation, be "on the record," a legal term that would
have required an infrequently used formal trial-like
procedure.
     A large part of the legislation is devoted to patent
reform. Other titles that may interest NewsNet readers
include provisions on prevention of cyberpiracy in domain
names and online child protection.
     Congress also passed on Nov. 19 a separate piece of
legislation, the "Digital Theft Deterrence and Copyright
Damages Improvement Act of 1999," H.R. 3456. The bill, which
the President is expected to sign, amends section 504(c) of
title 17 to increase the minimum statutory damages from $500
to $750, increase the maximum from $20,000 to $30,000, and
increase the maximum for willful infringement from $100,000
to $150,000. It also directs the Sentencing Commission to
adjust the sentencing guidelines for criminal copyright
infringement to ensure that criminal penalties are
sufficiently stringent and reflect the retail value of the
works that were infringed.
     The text of the Intellectual Property and
Communications Omnibus Reform Act of 1999 (S. 1948) can be
found on the GPO's Website at
http://frwebgate.access.gpo.gov/cgi-bin/getdoc.cgi?dbname=10
6_cong_bills&docid=f:s1948is.txt.pdf.
        The text of the Digital Theft Deterrence and Copyright
Damages Improvement Act of 1999 (H.R. 3456) can be found on
the GPO's Website at
http://frwebgate.access.gpo.gov/cgi-bin/useftp.cgi?IPaddress
=162.140.64.88&filename=h3456eh.pdf&directory=/diskb/wais/da
ta/106_cong_bills.

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* CALENDAR *

December 31: End of negotiation period for determining rates
and terms for digital transmissions that constitute digital
phonorecord deliveries for the period beginning January 1,
2001 (64 FR 38861)

January 18, 2000: Beginning of 45-day precontroversy
discovery period for CARP proceeding on rates and terms for
digital transmissions of sound recordings and ephemeral
recordings (64 FR 52107)

February 10, 2000: Due date for written comments on
exemption to prohibition on circumvention of copyright
protection systems for access control technologies (64 FR
66139)

March 13, 2000: Due date for reply comments exemption to
prohibition on circumvention of copyright protection systems
for access control technologies (64 FR 66139)

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