Monday, October 14, 2002

Copyright Comments

Have an opinion on the US copyright laws? Is there something about the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (pdf) that bothers you? Should there be an exception to the law? The Copyright Office of the Library of Congress is soliciting comments (pdf) from the public on possible exceptions. As zdnet news reports, this is only the second time in five years that the law is open for comment, and the first comment period did result in a couple of exceptions to the law. What types of comments are they looking for?
This time around, the office is again asking for specific examples of cases where the law's restrictions cause "actual instances of verifiable problems occurring in the marketplace."
The Copyright Office's notice does give more information on how to get your comments to them, and includes a deadline date of December 18th for written initial comments. Electronic internet comments can be made through this page on their site.

Reply comments may also be made (comments that are replies to comments filed during the initial period) from January 21, 2003 through February 19, 2003:
In the reply comments, persons who oppose or support any exemptions proposed in the initial comments will have the opportunity to respond to the proposals made in the initial comments and to provide factual information and legal argument addressing whether a proposed exemption should be adopted. Since the reply comments are intended to be responsive to the initial comments, reply commenters must identify what proposed class they are responding to, whether in opposition, support, amplification or correction. As with initial comments, reply comments should first identify the proposed class, provide a summary of the argument, and then provide the factual and/or legal support for their argument. This format of class/summary/facts and/or legal argument should be repeated for each reply to a particular class of work proposed. The Copyright Office intends to place the comments and reply comments that are submitted in this proceeding on its website (
That page also leads to much more detail regarding the formats to be followed in submitting comments, and details regarding the previous rulemakings under the DMCA.