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Amazon, Warner Media, others weigh in on US Copyright Office update

A newly formed committee that includes officials from Amazon.com Inc. and Warner Media LLC will be providing user insights as part of an initiative to modernize the U.S. Copyright Office.

The office allows companies and individuals to register a wide range of intellectual property, including literature, digital content and creative works, which can then be monetized.

Wahaj Chaudhry, an official with Amazon, and Kathleen Rodriguez of Warner Media are among the members of the newly formed Copyright Public Modernization Committee, which will provide input into the development of a new Enterprise Copyright System that will include registration, recordation, public records and licensing IT applications. The Library of Congress, which houses the copyright office in Washington, D.C., is hosting the committee's inaugural public meeting July 22.

Chaudhry is a senior technical product manager on Amazon's brand protection team, where he is working on scaling intellectual property management systems, including on copyright, according to Amazon.

Warner Media did not return inquiries for this story. But both companies would see their already expansive copyright portfolios expand if two large pending deals are approved: Amazon is planning an $8.45 billion acquisition of MGM Holdings Inc., while AT&T Inc. plans to combine its Warner Media operations with Discovery Inc.

Other representatives on the new committee include officials from the Recording Industry Association of America, the Copyright Clearance Center and the University of Michigan Library.

Committee members will meet twice a year through 2024 to provide user insights and get updates on the project, said Ellis Brachman, communications officer for the Office of the Chief Information Officer at the Library of Congress.

Brachman cautioned that the committee is not an advisory group, but rather part of an effort to gain insights from a wide range of stakeholders that have interest in the office's new modern system.

"It's an opportunity to make sure that what we are developing is going to meet the wide range of needs that are out there," Brachman said. "This is taking what is, in some cases, still a paper process and bringing it up into the 21st century."

The copyright office modernization project, which began in 2018 and whose first iteration is slated to be fully implemented by 2024, will not only include a new enterprise system but also extensive updates to the office's IT systems. It will further include tools to improve the tracking of physical materials and applications that share the same design and interface.

The Library of Congress requested Congress to provide $60.5 million, from fiscal 2019 through fiscal 2023, for the office's modernization effort, Brachman said. Thus far, Congress has provided the funding as requested.

Government

July 20 The House Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations will hold a hearing at 10:30 a.m. ET titled "Stopping Digital Thieves: The Growing Threat of Ransomware."
July 20 The House Committee on Small Business will hold a hybrid hearing titled "Strengthening the Cybersecurity Posture of America’s Small Business Community" at 10 a.m. ET.
July 21 The Federal Trade Commission will hold its open meeting at 12 p.m. ET, with brief remarks from newly appointed chair Lina Khan.
July 21 The Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works will hold a hearing at 10 a.m. ET to examine the potential cybersecurity threats facing the nation's infrastructure.
July 22 The Library of Congress will hold the first public meeting of the newly formed Copyright Public Modernization Committee at 1 p.m.
Industry, legal and think tank events
July 19 The Multicultural Media, Telecom and Internet Council will hold its "Former FCC Chairs" symposium at noon ET.
July 20 The Brookings Institution will hold a webinar at 2 p.m. titled "What role should the SEC play in ESG investing?"
July 20 Bloomberg will host its CEO Forum: The Future of Connectivity. Speakers include the CEOs of AT&T Inc.'s and Vodafone Group PLC's business segments.
July 20 The Information Technology and Innovation Foundation will hold a webinar at 11 a.m. titled "How Can Countries Support Data Flows, Digital Trade, and Good Data Governance?"
July 21 The American Council for Technology and Industry Advisory Council will host an event at 1 p.m. highlighting technology opportunities for small businesses at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.
July 21 The Institute for Policy Innovation will host an online event asking "Broadband Expansion: What's the Government Role?"
July 22 New America will host an online event titled "Ransomware Summer: Cybersecurity as Critical Infrastructure."

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