Since 2013 the House Judiciary Committee of the U.S. Congress has been engaged in a comprehensive review of the current Copyright Act. It has held 20 hearings and heard from 100 witnesses.
One of the issues being discussed is a copyright small claim court as an alternative to federal court for claims of relatively lesser economic value.
In addition there is discussion of:
- removing the Copyright Office from the Library of Congress and making it a stronger agency so it would have better control over its budget and be able to eventually oversee any newly formed small claims dispute resolution process;
- orphan works;
- copyright registration;
- a pilot program for the extended Collective licensing of images; and
- limits to the expansion of fair use and the use of framing images to circumvent licensing.
The committee is currently setting up a “Listening Tour” around the country to hear the views of photographers, illustrators, graphics artists, etc. They are sending 12 representatives and 12 staffers for face-to-face conversations to discuss a variety of issues including small claims, fair use, and copyright modernization.
For more information see the report of Nancy Wolff, DMLA Counsel, here