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COMMITTEE ON THE JUDICIARY
JACK BROOKS, Texas, Chairman
CARLOS J. MOORHEAD, California
HENRY J. HYDE, Illinois ROMANO L. MAZZOLI, Kentucky
F. JAMES SENSENBRENNER, JR., WILLIAM J. HUGHES, New Jersey
Wisconsin MIKE SYNAR, Oklahoma
BILL MCCOLLUM, Florida PATRICIA SCHROEDER, Colorado
GEORGE W. GEKAS, Pennsylvania DAN GLICKMAN, Kansas
MICHAEL DEWINE, Ohio BARNEY FRANK, Massachusetts
WILLIAM E. DANNEMEYER, California GEO. W. CROCKETT, JR., Michigan
HOWARD COBLE, North Carolina CHARLES E. SCHUMER, New York
D. FRENCH SLAUGHTER, JR., Virginia BRUCE A. MORRISON, Connecticut
LAMAR S. SMITH, Texas EDWARD F. FEIGHAN, Ohio
CHUCK DOUGLAS, New Hampshire
CRAIG T. JAMES, Florida
WILLIAM M. JONES, General Counsel
SUBCOMMITTEE ON COURTS, INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY, AND THE ADMINISTRATION OF
ROBERT W. KASTENMEIER, Wisconsin, Chairman GEO. W. CROCKETT, JR., Michigan
CARLOS J. MOORHEAD, California HOWARD L. BERMAN, California
HENRY J. HYDE, Ilinois JOHN BRYANT, Texas
HOWARD COBLE, North Carolina RICK BOUCHER, Virginia
D. FRENCH SLAUGHTER JR., Virginia GEORGE E. SANGMEISTER, Illinois
HAMILTON FISH, JR., New York WILLIAM J. HUGHES, New Jersey
F. JAMES SENSENBRENNER, JR., MIKE SYNAR, Oklahoma
Oman, Ralph, Register of Copyrights, Library of Congress: Prepared state-
Artists Equity Association: Prepared statement...
VISUAL ARTISTS RIGHTS ACT OF 1989
WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 18, 1989
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES,
AND THE ADMINISTRATION OF JUSTICE,
Washington, DC The subcommittee met, pursuant to notice, at 10:05 a.m., in room 2226, Rayburn House Office Building, Hon. Robert W. Kastenmeier (chairman of the subcommittee) presiding.
Present: Representatives Robert W. Kastenmeier, Howard L. Berman, William J. Hughes, Carlos J. Moorhead, Howard Coble, Hamilton Fish, and F. James Sensenbrenner, Jr.
Also present: Representative Benjamin L. Cardin.
Staff present: Michael J. Remington, chief counsel; Virginia E. Sloan, Elizabeth R. Fine, and Charles G. Geyh, counsels; Stephanie A. Ward, clerk; and Joseph V. Wolfe, minority counsel.
OPENING STATEMENT OF CHAIRMAN KASTENMEIER Mr. KASTENMEIER. The committee will come to order.
During the last Congress, this subcommittee held several hearings on the issue of artists' rights. The issue first arose as we considered the Berne Convention, which requires that member countries establish a certain minimum level of moral rights protection.
The Congress actually determined that the United States already had sufficient moral rights protection to enable us to join Berne. However, that determination did not end our consideration of this issue.
Our hearing today will focus on H.R. 2690, the Visual Artists Rights Act of 1989. I introduced the bill, along with our colleagues Ed Markey and Howard Berman, because the issue of artists' rights continues to merit congressional consideration.
In the visual arts context, the issues are perhaps more clearly focused than in other areas. There are, for example, no obvious workfor-hire issues, and no dispute about who the author of the work in question is. It is a good starting point for considering the artists' rights issue.
In saying this, I make no comment on the issues affecting the motion picture industry, or architectural works, or other areas.
I welcome the comments of witnesses today on the overall issue of artists' rights, but I recognize that the issues involved in the film and other contexts raise a host of different and more complex questions. Later in this Congress, we will specifically address these issues as they relate to films, possibly in a hearing in Los Angeles.
In the meanwhile, I look forward to hearing from our witnesses today. Although the subcommittee held a hearing on visual artists' rights last year, a great deal of attention was paid to the resale royalty issue, and surprisingly little to the rights of attribution and integrity. This year, H.R. 2690 removes the resale royalty issue as a point of controversy. It directs that the Copyright Office conduct a study of this issue, and report to the Congress about whether further legislative consideration is appropriate. Today, therefore, we have simplified our task by narrowing the issues to the rights of attribution and integrity.
I am pleased that, despite the subcommittee's best efforts to provide a forum for one and all, and for any opposition, no one has requested an opportunity to oppose this bill
. I know that some of the witnesses today have specific recommendations for changes, but to a person they support the dual intentions behind the bill: To preserve works of visual art, and to correctly identify their authors.
These goals serve the good of the individual artist, and of society as a whole. The work of painters, sculptors and other visual artists enriches us all, and I believe that this bill is an important effort to protect and further their efforts.
Our witnesses today are well qualified to testify on this bill. They know well the practicalities of the art world and the copyright law which this bill would amend. I look forward to their testimony.
[The bill, H.R. 2690, follows:]