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Webinar: U.S. Copyright Office: Update for California Lawyers

June 24, 2020 @ 12:00 pm 1:00 pm

This program offers 1 participatory MCLE credit. You must register in advance to participate.

Presented by the Copyright Interest Group

This webinar will discuss recent initiatives by the U.S. Copyright Office in the administration of copyright law for the public benefit. Topics include:

  • The Music Modernization Act (MMA): In 2019, the MMA updated current copyright laws to reflect modern consumer preferences and technological developments in the music marketplace.  A key part of the legislation was the creation of a new blanket licensing system for digital music providers to make and distribute digital phonorecord deliveries (streams, limited and permanent downloads). The Copyright Office was charged with designating the mechanical licensing collective (MLC), and is now undertaking rulemakings for the governance and administration of the MLC. This webinar will provide an overview of Office activities and the current state of MMA administration.
  •  Recent Litigation: The Copyright Office plays a critical role in developing the U.S. Government’s legal position in industry-shaping litigation at the Supreme Court and circuit courts by coordinating with the Department of Justice in copyright litigation.  This webinar will discuss recent highlights in federal litigation, particularly the Supreme Court’s recent copyright-related decisions.
  • Policy and Study Updates: The Register of Copyrights is the principal advisor to Congress on national and international copyright matters, providing ongoing leadership and impartial expertise on copyright law and policy. Congress relies upon and directs the Copyright Office to provide critical law and policy services, and the past few years have been particularly active, as Copyright Office lawyers assisted Congress with copyright review hearings and prepared numerous timely reports. This webinar will highlight recent findings and conclusions as a result of this work.
  • “Copyright in the Age of Artificial Intelligence”: We are in the midst of an artificial intelligence (AI) era, a period of rapid development and growth in machine learning enabled by advances in computing power and connectedness. New developments raise copyright questions related to how data is gathered and used, how new works are created, and the intersection between machine and human collaboration. The Copyright Office co-hosted a symposium with the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) in February to develop answers to these issues, gathering a wide range of creative, technological, and legal experts. This webinar will briefly review the questions raised, the answers developed, and next steps in investigation.

Moderators: Angus M. MacDonald and John Wierzbicki

Catherine Rowland is Associate Register of Copyrights and director of public information and education (PIE). She was appointed to the position effective April 2, 2018, and oversees PIE as it provides authoritative information about the copyright law to the public and establishes educational programs. Rowland joined the Office in 2010 as attorney-advisor for the Office of the General Counsel. From 2012 to 2015, she served as senior counsel for policy and international affairs. In February 2015, Rowland was appointed senior advisor to the United States Register of Copyrights. In that position, she assisted the Register on a full range of policy, legal, and governance issues relating to the United States Copyright Office and its agency responsibilities. Before joining the Office, she spent several years in private law practice in Washington, DC, where she represented a variety of companies in intellectual property matters. Rowland began her legal career as a law clerk for the Hon. N. Carlton Tilley Jr. of the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of North Carolina. Rowland earned her JD from William and Mary Law School, where she was elected to the Order of the Coif. She earned her BA in political science from American University.

Regan A. Smith is the General Counsel and Associate Register of Copyrights for the United States Copyright Office. She was appointed to the position effective May 27, 2018. In her position as General Counsel, Smith provides legal guidance to the various divisions and programs of the Office, including the national registration and recordation systems, and she is frequently called upon by congressional offices, the U.S. Department of Justice, and other federal agencies for advice and assistance. She also has primary responsibility for the formation and promulgation of regulations and the adoption of legal positions governing policy matters and practices of the Copyright Office. Smith joined the Copyright Office in 2014 as assistant general counsel and advanced in 2015 to associate general counsel. She was named deputy general counsel in 2016. Before joining the Office, Smith spent several years in private practice in Chicago, where she represented a variety of clients in matters concerning copyright, technology, media, and related intellectual property issues. Smith earned her JD from Harvard Law School, where she served on the Civil Rights-Civil Liberties Law Review. She earned her BA in philosophy and political science from the University of Michigan.

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