On April 29, 2015, U.S. Register of Copyrights, Maria Pallante, testified to the House Judiciary Committee providing the Copyright Office’s perspective on updates to U.S. copyright law. In addition to recommending a more autonomous Copyright Office and flagging policy issues that warrant further analysis and attention, Ms. Pallante identified eight issues deserving current legislative action:1. Music Licensing. After undertaking a comprehensive study last year to assess the impact of copyright law on the music marketplace, the Copyright Office recommends
a. greater negotiating room for public performance rights while preserving the benefits of collective licensing for smaller actors
b. U.S. recognition of a full public performance right for sound recordings
c. federal copyright protection for pre-1972 sound recordings.
2. Copyright Small Claims. The Copyright Office recommends creation of an alternative, administrative tribunal as a wholly voluntary alternative to federal court that is focused on small infringement cases valued at no more than US$30,000. In the Office’s draft legislation, the tribunal could award monetary or limited statutory damages in non-precedential decisions.