Congress is looking to possibly update copyright law. After all, the current law hasn’t been updated since 1976. However, inside sources note that part of that update may hurt popular news aggregate sites like Drudge Report and Real Clear Politics.
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.”
This comes just days after Drudge claimed in an interview that a Supreme Court Justice told him that his days were numbered. Drudge said, “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.”
As things stand now, websites are bound by fair use, which means they can use a portion of something but must give credit. It’s also standard practice to give a link to the original piece. In short, aggregate sites aren’t stealing anything. They’re just compiling links for their readers.
They also make it easy for people to stay informed. By hitting one or two sites, they can see what all is going on and what’s being reported by a number of other news agencies. This makes it’s harder for politicians to hide what they’re up to.
We’re not saying that’s why this is being done as much as just stating a fact.
However, we urge you to contact your elected representative and press them to oppose any law that will hurt news aggregate sites.
Photo Credit: Matt Drudge/facebook