U.S. Copyright Office: Some recent developments

On June 4, 2015, Reps. Judy Chu and Tom Marino introduced “The Copyright Office for the Digital Economy Act”, a discussion draft of legislation towards modernisation of the U.S. Copyright Office, shifting the Office to an independent agency outside the Library of Congress, where it currently resides. More information on the intended modernisation, its reasons, and the issues involved, can be found here: Copyright Office Modernization.
 
On the same day, the U.S. Copyright Office released its report “Orphan Works and Mass Digitization”, covering orphan works and mass digitisation, recommending legislation to limit remedies for users of orphan works following a good faith diligent search for the copyright owner. Furthermore, the Copyright Office proposes a system of extended collective licensing (ECL) to help facilitate non-profit mass digitisation projects for education and research purposes, and suggests to start with a limited “pilot program” for a small number of classes of works.