Real Copyright Reform Starts With Listening To Users, Not Just The Usual Suspects

Corynne McSherry | Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) | July 24, 2013

In the next baby step on the long march toward reforming the Copyright Act, the House Judiciary Committee is holding hearings on the importance of the “copyright and technology sectors” to the U.S. economy. The first will be held tomorrow.

The Committee's approach has left us scratching our heads. For example, what is “the copyright sector” anyway?  After all, given that virtually any minimally creative expression is automatically protected by copyright, millions of Americans are copyright owners (though they may not know it). Are they the "copyright sector”? What about artists and fans that make noncommercial remix videos? Bloggers? Independent filmmakers, and comedians who have found ways to thrive in a changing economy? Academic authors? Innovative businesses like Aereo? If so, perhaps the hearings could offer an opportunity to educate Congress about how all kinds of creators are using new technologies to build and share new works, connect to audiences, and innovate. [...]