More than 22 years have passed since Congress passed the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), which was intended to enable copyright owners and online service providers to collaborate to combat online infringement — but today, piracy is more rampant than ever. So where does the DMCA stand now, and what needs to happen for it to live up to the potential that Congress intended? Senator Thom Tillis (R-NC), chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee’s IP Subcommittee, conducted a series of hearing throughout 2020 on what’s working and not working regarding the DMCA in today’s digital age. Now that the hearings have concluded, determinations will be made on how to best proceed.
On May 21, 2020, the U.S. Copyright Office issued its long-awaited Section 512 Report as a means of assisting Congress in updating the Copyright Act for the 21st Century. And on December 22, 2020, Chairman Tillis released a discussion draft version of the Digital Copyright Act, legislation that’s intended to provide a means for “update[ing] copyright law to address contemporary business practices and technologies and to support the growth of digital technologies without undermining incentives for creators, and for other purposes.” The Copyright Alliance and numerous organization members released a statement thanking Chairman Tillis and commending him and the subcommittee for their tremendous support in working to reform the DMCA.
For more information regarding the DMCA Hearings, including a schedule, coverage and more, please see below.