Description: TO PASS S. 22, FOR GENERAL REVISION OF THE COPYRIGHT LAW, TITLE 17 OF THE UNITED STATES CODE.
Bill summary: (Conference report filed in House, H. Rept. 94-1733)
=Title I: General Revision of Copyright Law= - Revises title 17, "Copyrights," of the United States Code. States that copyright protection subsists, in accordance with this title, in original works of authorship fixed in any tangible medium of expression, now known or later developed, from which they can be perceived, reproduced or otherwise communicated, either directly or with the aid of a machine or device.
Sets forth the exclusive rights
in copyrighted works, including the right to do and to authorize, among other acts, the reproduction of the copyrighted work and the preparation of derivative works based upon such work. Permits fair usage of copyrighted works. Allows libraries to reproduce and/or distribute one copy of a work or phonorecord, under specified conditions. Permits owners of copies or phonorecords to sell or otherwise dispose of such items. Excepts further from such exclusive rights specified performances and electronic transmissions of copyrighted works, including specified cable transmissions of such works. Defines the nature of exclusive rights in ephemeral recordings; pictorial, graphic, and sculptural works; sound recordings; and nondramatic musical works, including compulsory licensing for the making and distributing of phonorecords.
Limits the scope of exclusive rights with respect to specified published non dramatic musical works and published pictorial, graphic, and sculptural works. Requires copyright owners and public broadcasting entities to negotiate in good faith with the Copyright Royalty Tribunal in an effort to reach reasonable and expeditious results. Allows, notwithstanding any provision of the antitrust laws, copyright owners and public broadcasting entities to agree upon the terms and rates of royalty payments and the proportionate division of fees paid among various copyright owners.
Defines "public broadcasting entity" as a noncommercial educational broadcast station and any nonprofit institution or organization engaged in specified activities.
Defines the ownership of copyrights.
Sets forth the conditions of termination, in the case of any work other than a work made for hire, of the exclusive or nonexclusive grant of a transfer or license of copyright or of any right under a copyright executed by the author on or after January 1, 1978.
States that the termination of the grant may be effected at any time during a period of five years beginning at the end of 35 years from the date of execution of the grant, or, if the grant covers the right of publication of the work, the period begins at the end of 35 years from the date of publication of the work under the grant or at the end of 40 years from the date of execution of the grant, whichever term ends earlier.
Provides for the transfer of copyrights and the recordation of such copyrights.
Makes copyrights subject exclusively to the provisions of this Act after January 1, 1978.
Provides that a copyright in a work created on or after January 1, 1978, subsists from its creation and, except as provided in this Act, endures for the life of the author and 50 years after his death. States that, in general, any copyright, the first term of which is subsisting on January 1, 1978, shall endure for 28 years from the date it was originally secured.
Requires that whenever a work protected under this title is published in the United States or elsewhere by authority of the copyright owner, a notice of copyright shall be placed on all publicly distributed copies from which the work can be visually perceived, either directly or with the aid of a machine or device.
Provides that the omission of such copyright notice from copies or phonorecords publicly distributed by authority of the copyright owner does not invalidate the copyright in a work if: (1) the notice has been omitted from no more than a relatively small number of copies or phonorecords distributed to the public; or (2) registration for the work has been made before or is made within five years after the publication without notice, and a reasonable effort is made to add notice to all copies or phonorecords that are distributed to the public in the United States after the omission has been discovered; or (3) the notice has been omitted in violation of an express requirement in writing that, as a condition of the copyright owner's authorization of the public distribution of copies or phonorecords, they bear the prescribed notice.
States that at any time during the subsistence of copyright in any published or unpublished work, the owner of the copyright or of any exclusive right in the work may obtain registration of the copyright claim by delivering to the Copyright Office the deposit specified by this Act, together with the application and specified fee.
Provides that such registration is not a condition of copyright protection.
Makes importation into the United States, without the authority of the copyright owner, of copies or phonorecords of a work that has been acquired outside the United States an infringement of the exclusive right to distribute copies or phonorecords under this Act.
Gives to the legal or beneficial owner of an exclusive right under a copyright to institute an action for any infringement of that right.
Permits the appropriate court to grant temporary and final injunctions on such terms as it may deem reasonable to prevent or restrain infringement of a copyright, and to serve such injunctions anywhere in the United States.
Makes a copyright infringer liable for either the copyright owner's actual damages and any additional profits of the infringer, or statutory damages of up to $10,000 if the case is settled and up to $50,000 if the owner proves willful infringement. Sets forth criminal penalties for willful infringement.
Makes the importation into or public distribution in the United States of copies of a work consisting preponderantly of nondramatic literary material that is in the English language and is protected under this title unlawful unless the portions consisting of such material have been manufactured in the United States or Canada.
Provides that all administrative functions and duties under this title, except as otherwise specified, are the responsibility of the Register of Copyrights as Director of the Copyright Office in the Library of Congress. States that the Register of Copyright, together with the subordinate officers and employees of the Copyright Office, shall be appointed by the Librarian of Congress, and shall act under his general direction and supervision.
Requires the Register of Copyrights to provide and keep in the Copyright Office records of all deposits, registrations, recordations, and other actions taken under this title, and to prepare indexes of all such records.
Makes such records and indexes, as well as the articles deposited in connection with completed copyright registrations and retained under the control of the Copyright Office, open to public inspection.
Provides that upon request and payment of the specified fee the Copyright Office shall make a search of its public records, indexes, and deposits, and shall furnish a report of the information they disclose with respect to any particular deposits, registrations, or recorded documents.
Establishes an independent Copyright Royalty Tribunal in the legislative branch to make determinations concerning rolyalty rates and payments. States that the Tribunal is to be composed of five commissioners appointed for staggered seven year terms by the President with the advice and consent of the Senate.
Requires that every final determination of the Tribunal be published in the Federal Register, stating in detail the criteria determined by the Commission to be applicable to the particular proceeding. Permits petitions for adjustments of royalty rates to be submitted to the Tribunal under specified circumstances.
Directs the Library of Congress to provide the Tribunal with necessary administrative services. Authorizes the Library of Congress to disburse funds for the Tribunal.
Requires the Commission to report annually to the President and to Congress on its activities during the preceding year.
Allows judicial review of specified final decisions of the Commission.
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Bill titles: An Act for the general revision of the Copyright Law, title 17 of the United States Code, and for other purposes.; A bill for the general revision of the Copyright Law, title 17 of the United States Code.
Original source documents: Digest of the Congressional Record vol. 122-144, p. H10911;
Links for more info on the vote: congress.gov