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Will Copyright Reform Be On The Agenda In 2013?

With the election now over, one hopes that the three branches of our federal government will turn their attention fully to the pressing policy issues of the day, chief among those issues being the looming “fiscal cliff” facing the country at the year’s end.

Will intellectual property issues also see action in the months ahead? Public Knowledge co-founder Gigi Sohn believes it will, based on her organizations’ conversations with key figures on Capitol Hill.

As Sohn wrote in a post published yesterday:

People are still trying to figure out the long-term effects of 14 million voices united against SOPA and PIPA, but for certain two of the short term effects are 1) there is unlikely to be a bill that strengthens copyright enforcement that moves through either house of Congress without a thorough debate; and 2) there are now more members and Senators looking at the possibility of rolling back some of the relentless march towards stronger and longer copyrights. What makes reform a strong possibility is that it has support from both sides of the aisle.

I think Sohn is correct; with so much at stake for rights-holders, service providers, developers, technologists and consumers, copyright and other manner of intellectual property are bound to be on the agenda in Washington in the months and years to come.

Public Knowledge threw its hat into the copyright reform ring earlier this year, publishing what it calls The Internet Blueprint. Whether you like the blueprint’s suggestions in part, in full or not at all, it’s an interesting read, and presents ideas worthy of discussion. Here’s hoping that this and other ideas from other intellectual property stakeholders are given close and fair consideration by Congress in the near future…. but let’s maybe take care of that whole ‘fiscal cliff’ thing, first.