Past Copyright Legislation

H.R. 801 "The Fair Copyright in Research Works Act"

During the 111th Congress on February 3, 2009, Rep. Conyers (D-MI), Chairman of the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on the Judiciary, introduced H.R. 801, β€œThe Fair Copyright in Research Works Act,” on February 3, 2009. Unfortunately, the not-so-new bill seeking to amend copyright code and create a new category of copyright work differed only in bill number assigned β€” from its predecessor in the 110th Congress ( H.R. 6845) (that ultimately died in the House Judiciary Committee).

And just as in the 110th Congress, H.R. 801 negated or reversed the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Public Access Policy currently in place, rolling back hard-fought progress on public access to taxpayer-funded NIH research on the Internet. The bill would effectively reverse the NIH Public Access Policy, as well as make it impossible for other federal agencies to put similar policies into place. The bill ultimately died at the conclusion of the 111th Congress.

Orphan Works Legislation
Orphaned works are works whose copyright holders cannot be identified or found – and are sometimes not made publicly available by libraries for fear that rights holders will come forward, initiate legal action, and demand statutory damages of up to $150,000 a work.

There has not been legislative activity related to orphaned works since the 109th Congress with the introduction of bills in the U.S. Senate (S. 2913, The Shawn Bentley Orphan Works Act of 2008) and the U.S. House of Representatives (H.R. 5889, The Orphan Works Act of 2008).

For additional information, please see Copyright: Orphan Works.