pk-logo4TechDirt and BoingBoing link to public interest group Public Knowledge’s proposed copyright reform legislation. The proposal has five key goals:

  1. strengthen fair use, including reforming outrageously high statutory damages, which deter innovation and creativity;
  2. reform the DMCA to permit circumvention of digital locks for lawful purposes;
  3. update the limitations and exceptions to copyright protection to better conform with how digital technologies work;
  4. provide recourse for people and companies who are recklessly accused of copyright infringement and who are recklessly sent improper DMCA take-down notices; and
  5. streamline arcane music licensing laws to encourage new and better business models for selling music.

Point 2 should be of particular interest to e-book fans who would like to be able to read the books they purchase on any device they own, and could go a good way toward solving the “Tower of e-Babel” problem of incompatible formats and devices.

Of course, it is doubtful this proposal will actually end up going anywhere. We have covered attempts at similar legislation in the past (such as these in 2002 and 2003) but they petered out in the end—and they had actual Congressional sponsorship.

Nonetheless, it is good that the issue is at least getting more attention.


  1. Great idea, but the only people who like current laws are the industries. Too bad this will never pass, as you only need the approval of the industries(if people had to approve, these laws would be better). The government needs to force it to happen in the interest of society, fairness,will of people.

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