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Unlike the Report, the bill would treat foreign works entitled to protection under the Universal Copyright Convention in the same way as all other works for this purpose. In view of the stronger remedies available to unregistered works under the bill as compared to those recommended by the Report, we believe that there is no longer any need to make special rules for U.C.C. works. Awards of statutory damages and attorney's fees are not generally provided for under foreign copyright statutes, and the remaining remedies recoverable under the bill for infringements of unregistered copyrights are fully comparable to those granted under the laws of other countries. Statutory damages and attorney's fees would represent a bonus given for registration.
COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT AND REMEDIES
A. INFRINGEMENT IN GENERAL
1. WHAT IS INFRINGEMENT
It seems strange, though not very serious, that the present law lacks any statement or definition of what constitutes an infringement. Section 501 (a) of the bill is intended to supply that lack by providing:
Anyone who violates any of the exclusive rights of the copyright owner as provided by sections 106 through 114, or who imports copies or phonorecords into the United States in violation of section 602, is an infringer of the copyright.
Note that, in addition to violations of the copyright owner's exclusive rights, an importation of copies or phonorecords may constitute an act of infringement under certain circumstances. This question will be discussed further in chapter 8.
2. PARTIES TO INFRINGEMENT SUITS
Subsection (b) of section 501 represents an effort to deal with a difficult practical problem: how, under a system of divisible copyright, to make it possible for the owner of a particular right to bring an infringement action in his own name alone, and at the same time to insure as far as possible that the owners of other rights which may be affected are notified of the suit and given an opportunity to become parties. As indicated in chapter 3, considerable concern has been expressed about the dangers to copyright owners when each of the exclusive rights under a copyright can be owned and defended separately in court. An example was given of the owner of an exclusive right who discovers too late that, as the result of a judgment in an action brought by the owner of another exclusive right in a remote jurisdiction, he can no longer enforce his rights because the defendant is judgment proof, because of the doctrines of res judicata, collateral estoppel, etc.
In line with the divisibility recommendations of the 1961 Report, the first sentence of section 501 (b) would entitle the "legal or beneficial owner of an exclusive right under a copyright *** to institute an action for any infringement of that particular right committed