The House Judiciary Committee will conduct a sweeping review
of copyright law over the next several months to determine whether those laws
"still work" in the digital age.
Rep. Bob Goodlatte, chairman of the committee, announced the
review, including a series of hearings, on World Intellectual Property Day.
"The Internet has enabled copyright-owners to make
available their works to consumers around the world, but has also enabled others
to do so without any compensation for copyright owners," he said on
That issue hits home with the major studios, who have
pressed the government to better protect their works from online piracy, and to
broadcasters, who are fighting Aereo over whether copyright law covers Internet
delivery of over-the-air signals.
"[I]t is my belief that a wide review of our nation's
copyright laws and related enforcement mechanisms is timely," he said.
Copyright issues are also expected to be part of
that committee's oversight of the reauthorization of the Satellite
Television Extension and Localism Act (STELA), which provides a blanket
copyright license for the importation of distant TV network signals.