Contact: Craig D'Ooge (202) 707-9189

July 18, 1996

Copyright Office Hires Expert to Study Internet

William and Mary College Law Professor Trotter Hardy has been hired under contract by the U.S. Copyright Office to investigate and to forecast issues arising from the conflict of digital communications technology and authors' rights under the Copyright Act.

According to Register of Copyrights Marybeth Peters, "The growth of the Internet and related technology has made the copying and the global distribution of copyrighted works such as fiction, photographs, music, software, and other creative authorship as easy as pressing a button. At issue is how to preserve the rights of authors and their monetary incentives in the digital age. With several legislative proposals to amend the copyright law pending before Congress, the need for an overview of future issues involving the Internet and copyright is needed now."

Mr. Hardy will hold small conferences of top legal and technology experts in California and Washington, D.C., to explore the long-term direction of the Internet and related legal issues. At the end of 1996 he will present a written report to the Register of Copyrights on his findings and forecasts.

The U.S. Copyright Office has been a part of the Library of Congress since 1870. In addition to administering the copyright law, the office creates and maintains the public record of copyright registration, provides technical assistance and policy advice on copyright issues to Congress and executive branch agencies, offers information to the general public promotes improved copyright protection for U.S. creative works abroad, and obtains deposits for the collections of the Library of Congress.

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PR 96-105
ISSN 0731-3527

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