WASHINGTON — Congress may update digital copyright law affecting aggregator sites, like the Drudge Report and Real Clear Politics, along with news sites in the near future.
“Two years ago, the House Judiciary Committee launched a comprehensive review of our nation’s copyright laws, which have not been updated since 1976. As technology continues to rapidly advance, we have a responsibility to ensure that our laws are keeping pace with these developments,” Judiciary Chairman Bob Goodlatte said in a statement.
Since March of 2013, the House Judiciary Committee has conducted 20 hearings, which included testimony from 100 witnesses on the subject of copyright law in the digital age. The topics range from fair use to scope of copyright protection to music licensing.
“The committee has been conducting a comprehensive review of U.S. copyright law to ensure that the law keeps pace with the digital age in which we live. The goal of the listening tour is to step out of Washington, D.C. to hear from creators and innovators in terms of what is and is not working for them in their various fields,” a committee staffer told The Daily Caller.
The committee staffer would not say how the laws would affect aggregators and news sites and said that only “all stakeholders are invited to come in and meet with staff in order to give their thoughts or express concerns. Those meetings are ongoing.”
Drudge Report site owner Matt Drudge told Alex Jones of InfoWars last week that copyright laws could very well end his popular site.
“I had a Supreme Court Justice tell me it’s over for me,” said Drudge. “They’ve got the votes now to enforce copyright law, you’re out of there. They’re going to make it so you can’t even use headlines.”
He explained, “To have a Supreme Court Justice say to me it’s over, they’ve got the votes, which means time is limited,” he added, noting that a day was coming when simply operating an independent website could be outlawed. That will end [it] for me – fine – I’ve had a hell of a run,” said Drudge, adding that web users were being pushed into the cyber ‘ghettos’ of Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.”
Drudge added, “This is ghetto, this is corporate, they’re taking your energy and you’re getting nothing in return – nothing!”
In July, Chairman Goodlatte and Democrat Ranking Member John Conyers invited witnesses from the Committee’s previous copyright review hearings as well as other interested stakeholders to meet with committee staff to provide additional input on copyright policy issues.
According to the committee, almost 50 meetings were scheduled and those will take several more weeks. Additionally, Goodlatte and Conyers announced that the House Judiciary Committee would conduct a listening tour as part of the copyright review.