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COPYRIGHT REFORM ACT OF 1993
WEDNESDAY, MARCH 3, 1993
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES,
AND JUDICIAL ADMINISTRATION,
Washington, DC. The subcommittee met, pursuant to notice, at 10:12 a.m., in room 2247, Rayburn House Office Building, Hon. William J. Hughes (chairman of the subcommittee) presiding.
Present: Representatives William J. Hughes, Jack Reed, Xavier Becerra, Carlos J. Moorhead, Howard Coble, Hamilton Fish, Jr., F. James Sensenbrenner, Jr., and Bill McCollum.
Also present: Hayden Gregory, counsel; William F. Patry, assistant counsel; Phyllis Henderson, secretary; and Thomas E. Mooney, minority counsel.
OPENING STATEMENT OF CHAIRMAN HUGHES Mr. HUGHES. The Subcommittee on Intellectual Property and Judicial Administration will come to order. Good morning.
The Chair has received a request to cover this hearing in whole or in part by television broadcast, radio broadcast, and still photography, or by any of such methods of coverage. In accordance with committee rule 5(a) permission will be granted, unless there is objection.
Is there objection?
This morning we will begin testimony on the Copyright Reform Act of 1993. We will have additional testimony tomorrow, as you may know, in room 2128, at the same time, 10 a.m.
President Clinton has said to those who argue he is not making enough spending cuts that they should make suggestions, "Be specific." H.R. 897 makes specific suggestions regarding two legislative branch agencies for which this subcommittee has oversight jurisdiction: Copyright Royalty Tribunal and the Copyright Office. In my opinion, and apparently that of a majority of the Copyright Royalty Tribunal, CRT is a good place to start. Under the bill the CRT'S functions will be handled by the Copyright Office and ad hoc arbitration panels.
Abolishing a full-time agency that has an episodic workload and replacing it with as needed arbitration panels does make some sense. Two of the CRT Commissioners have suggested that the bill be amended to require that subsequent panels take into account
precedence. This seems to be a very constructive suggestion, and I am sure these hearings will produce other useful recommendations for improving the bill. Other parts of the bill concern reforms in Copyright Office procedures. Testimony on this part of the bill will be heard today and tomorrow.
The Chair, speaking for himself, is very open-minded—we want the very best operations. We are deeply committed to, first of all, cost efficiency in government and very committed to seeing that our copyright laws are properly and adequately administered. We look forward to hearing from the witnesses and fashioning the very best piece of legislation that we can fashion.
[The bill, H.R. 897, follows:)
H. R. 897
To amend title 17, United States Code, to modify certain recordation and
registration requirements, to establish copyright arbitration royalty panels
IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
FEBRUARY 16, 1993
following bill; which was referred to the Committee on the Judiciary
recordation and registration requirements, to establish
1 Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representa-
3 SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.
This Act may be cited as the "Copyright Reform Act
5 of 1993".
TITLE I-COPYRIGHT OFFICE
2 SEC. 101. COPYRIGHT RECORDATION PROVISIONS.
3 Section 301(b) of title 17, United States Code, is 4 amended
(1) in paragraph (3) by striking "or" after the
(2) in paragraph (4) by striking the period and
12 (a) REGISTRATION AND INFRINGEMENT ACTIONS.— 13 Section 411 of title 17, United States Code, is amended
14 to read as follows:
15 "8411. Registration and infringement actions
"In the case of a work consisting of sounds, images,
17 or both, the first fixation of which is made simultaneously
18 with its transmission, the copyright owner may, either be
19 fore or after such fixation takes place, institute an action 20 for infringement under section 501, fully subject to the 21 remedies provided by sections 502 through 506 and sec22 tions 509 and 510, if, in accordance with requirements
23 that the Register of Copyrights shall prescribe by regula
24 tion, the copyright owner serves notice upon the infringer, 25 not less than 10 or more than 30 days before such fixa
1 tion, identifying the work and the specific time and source
2 of its first transmission.".
(b) REGISTRATION AS PREREQUISITE TO CERTAIN
4 REMEDIES FOR INFRINGEMENT.-Section 412 of title 17,
5 United States Code, and the item relating to section 412
6 in the table of sections at the beginning of chapter 4 of
7 title 17, United States Code, are repealed.
8 SEC. 103. THE COPYRIGHT OFFICE: GENERAL RESPON.
SIBILITIES AND ORGANIZATION.
10 (a) REGISTER OF COPYRIGHTS.Section 701(a) of 11 title 17, United States Code, is amended to read as
13 “(a)(1) The President shall appoint, by and with the 14 advice and consent of the Senate, the Register of Copy15 rights. The Register of Copyrights shall be paid at the 16 rate of pay in effect for level IV of the Executive Schedule
17 under section 5315 of title 5.".
“(2) All administrative functions and duties under
19 this title, except as otherwise specified, are the responsibil20 ity of the Register of Copyrights as director of the Copy21 right Office of the Library of Congress. The Register of 22 Copyrights shall appoint all other officers and employees 23 of the Copyright Office, who shall act under the Register's 24 general direction and supervision.".
(b) ANNUAL REPORT.-Section 701(c) of title 17,
2 United States Code, is amended to read as follows: 3 "(c) The Register of Copyrights shall make an annual 4 report to the Congress on the work and accomplishments 5 of the Copyright Office during the previous fiscal year.”. 6 (c) REPEAL.-Section 701(e) of title 17, United
7 States Code, is repealed.
8 SEC. 104. COPYRIGHT OFFICE REGULATIONS.
Section 702 of title 17, United States Code, is
10 amended by striking the last sentence.
11 SEC. 106. CONFORMING AMENDMENTS.
12 (a) DEFINITIONS.—Section 101 of title 17, United 13 States Code, is amended by striking the definition of the 14 "country of origin" of a Berne Convention work.
(b) RECORDATION OF TRANSFERS AND OTHER DOC
16 UMENTS.-Section 205(c) of title 17, United States Code, 17 is amended by striking "but only if" and all that follows 18 through the end of paragraph (2) and inserting the follow
19 ing: "but only if the document, or material attached to 20 it, specifically identifies the work to which it pertains so
21 that, after the document is indexed by the Register of 22 Copyrights, it would be revealed by a reasonable search
23 under the title or registration number of the work.”.
(c) INFRINGEMENT OF COPYRIGHT.Section 501(b).
25 of title 17, United States Code, is amended in the first