Goodlatte: Education, circumvention up next in copyright review

House Judiciary Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) says his sweeping review of copyright law will likely examine education and circumvention next and is set to continue into next year.

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There are “several topics left in the committee's review of copyright law” and “a handful of topics that we expect to examine in the coming months,” Goodlatte said in a recent interview with Bloomberg BNA.

He pointed to education and circumvention as “two topics that the committee will likely consider next.”

When asked about the timeline for the review — which began last year — Goodlatte said he envisioned it extending past this year.

“Due to the condensed congressional schedule this fall, I expect the review to continue into 2015,” he said.

According to Goodlatte, the review and its 15 hearings have been “successful and productive in that the various stakeholders and interested parties have come together to discuss the issues they face.”

“I think there is wide agreement that the digital age has challenged our copyright laws in ways never imagined,” he said.

He pointed to changes in technology since the 1976 Copyright Act as the reason for his sweeping review.

“We have seen great technological advances since 1976 and for that reason we must ensure that our laws are keeping pace with these advances,” he said.

“So it is my belief that a wide review of our nation's copyright laws and related enforcement mechanisms is overdue.”

So far, he has not weighed in on what specific changes are needed, despite multiple copyright reform proposals — especially in the area of music licensing — being offered by members of the committee.

“I am not going to draw any conclusions about what may or may not need to be changed until we have completed the review of the Copyright Act,” he told Bloomberg BNA.