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Congressman Tom Marino

Representing the 10th District of Pennsylvania

Reps. Marino, Chu Reintroduce Bill with Historic Reforms to the Copyright Office

February 8, 2017
Press Release

Washington, D.C.— Congressman Tom Marino (PA-10) and Congresswoman Judy Chu (CA-27) reintroduced (H.R. 890) the Copyright Office for the Digital Economy Act or the CODE Act. The CODE Act makes several improvements to the copyright office that reflect a consensus across various industries and public interest groups. 
 
These improvements include: 

  • Housing the Copyright Office in the Legislative Branch 
  • Requiring ongoing technology studies to ensure the office remains current with technology to be more user friendly which includes improving upon the searchable database
  • Establishing an advisory board representing a variety of interests and views tasked with providing the office with candid feedback on the current field of copyright to ensure neutrality and objectivity 
  • Technical provisions to ensure a more seamless transition away from the Library of Congress 

Congressman Marino released the following statement:

“Intellectual property rights are a founding principle of our nation’s laws and one of the core reasons we have become the most prosperous nation in the world. However, our Copyright Office has fallen well behind the fast-moving pace of America’s creators and the industries they work in. This is detrimental not only to copyright holders, but to the public as well. The CODE Act ensures the Copyright Office has the autonomy to move quickly and adapt to changes in technology so the public has the ability to enjoy and benefit from creative works. It also ensures that the registration process provides content creators with the ability to enforce their rights in a timely manner. In creating this legislation, Rep. Chu and I sought the advice and feedback of all copyright related entities. The CODE Act is well thought-out, reasonable and provides a long-term solution to the Copyright Office’s ailments.”

Congresswoman Chu said: 

“I am proud to once again join Rep. Marino to introduce the CODE Act. The copyright industries are responsible for millions of jobs and billions of dollars in our economy, yet the Copyright Office is still using out-moded processes to handle registration. We must bring it into the modern age. In addition, this bill makes operational improvements and provides administrative control to the Copyright Office, which would make the Office more efficient and responsive to all interested parties. I look forward to continuing my work with colleagues and stakeholders on the improvements needed to ensure that our country has a Copyright Office that reflects the 21st century.”

This bill was also introduced in the 114th Congress as, H.R. 4241.  It was introduced following months of discussion among industry stakeholders and interested parties, including several joint member roundtables.  The bill was referred to the House Judiciary Committee but was not brought up for a vote.