Happy Birthday to all our Intellectual Property Lawyers!

The US Copyright Office was created 150 years ago.

Happy birthday from Alta Pro to all our Intellectual Property lawyers.

This year marks the 150th anniversary of the establishment of the U.S. Copyright Office. To commemorate this milestone, a yearlong schedule of events – called “Engage Your Creativity” – has been scheduled to highlight the “rich and sometimes surprising history of the copyright office and copyright itself, the importance of the office’s connection with creators and users of copyright-protected works, and the role of the office in engaging creativity.”

Click here to access the event schedule for the “Engage Your Creativity” commemoration.

“Since its establishment 150 years ago, the Office has driven the evolution of copyright law and been a key player in copyright law revisions, from the Copyright Act of 1909 to the Copyright Act of 1976 to the Orrin G. Hatch–Bob Goodlatte Music Modernization Act and beyond. The Office also provides critical services, helping copyright owners protect their works and preserving a public record of the country’s creativity,” according to this news release.

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Here are some of the historical markers in the evolution of US copyright law:

  • The Copyright Officer was established in the wake of the Civil War when Congress unified copyright registration within the Library of Congress. Previously, copyright registrations and copies of the works were deposited at the author’s local federal district court. This was a piecemeal process at best.
  • In 1897 Congress established the Register of Copyrights office, which we still know today.
  • The first Register of Copyrights was Thorvald Solberg. He became a key advisor to Congress.
  • The Copyright Act was overhauled in 1909.
  • According to the U.S. Chamber International IP Index, the United States’ copyright laws rank first in the world.
  • Core copyright industries add $1.3 trillion to the U.S. economy and account for over $190 billion in exports.
  • Presently, Congress is considering several updates to the Copyright Act. One would tighten restrictions and penalties for infringing streaming services. Another would create a small claims process for independent creators to vindicate their rights without having to incur the time and cost of a federal court lawsuit.
  • The Copyright Office recently issued a report on online piracy and Section 512 of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.
  • Dr. Carla Hayden is the current Librarian of Congress.

Source: US Chamber of Commerce article by Frank Cullen, Vice President of U.S. Intellectual Property Policy

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