21 July 2005

Nights at the Roundtable

The Copyright Office is holding a series of three "roundtable" meetings on the "orphan" problem. The first two all-day meetings will be held in Washington, DC, next week, on Tuesday, 26 July, and Wednesday, 27 July. The third will be held at Boalt Hall (Cal-Berkeley's law school) on Tuesday, 02 August. I will be participating in the afternoon session of the Berkeley meeting, representing the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America—and, not incidentally, being the only representative of the actual creators of copyrighted works.1 The complete list for that session is:

  • Allan Adler, AAP
  • Dwayne K. Buttler, University of Louisville
  • Kenneth D. Crews, Copyright Management Center, Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis
  • David Eber, Houghton Mifflin Company
  • Kenneth Hamma, The J. Paul Getty Trust
  • Carl M. Johnson, Copyright Licensing Office, Brigham Young University
  • Brewster Kahle, The Internet Archive
  • Megan Lee, Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center
  • Alexander MacGillivray, Google, Inc.
  • Jerry McBride, Music Library Association
  • Steven J. Metalitz, RIAA
  • Mark E. Meyerson, 20th Century Fox and MPAA
  • Charles E. Petit, Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America
  • Brian E. C. Schottlaender, University of California, San Diego, University of California Libraries
  • Gail Silva, Film Arts Foundation
  • Christopher Sprigman, Save the Music and Creative Commons
  • Gary E. Strong, University of California, Los Angeles, University of California Libraries
  • Maureen Whalen, The J. Paul Getty Trust

This should be fun. It will probably be rather frustrating, too, as several of the participants on this list are not known for their equanimity in the face of opposition. (That was remarkably polite, wasn't it?) Further, several of the organizations in question have massive axes to grind. I suppose, in a sense, that I do, too; read Comment 607 and Rebuttal Comment 108 from the orphans page (linked above).

Of course, I will be preparing some opening remarks; I'll post them here after the session concludes. I've been informed that transcripts will be made available, but not the mechanics of obtaining copies.

  1. The AAP and Houghton Mifflin are obviously there to represent the interests of publishers—which, no matter how much essential editorial effort goes into books, are not the creators. The RIAA and 20th Century Fox/MPAA representatives do represent the copyright holders; I do not accept the legislative designation of music and film producers as the "creators" of the works, even though the Copyright Act treats them as such. Congress doesn't get to redefine terms to mean something that was actually rejected by the Founders.