Jennifer Baltimore, deputy general counsel of Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts
If you were the Walt Disney Co., and you saw thousands upon thousands of fan-created videos that featured your intellectual property cropping up on YouTube, would you crack down on those violations or would you “Let It Go?”
This type of conundrum illustrates an issue that copyright holders face in this era of pervasive digital technology. We’ve come a long way since the early days of Napster, but the same questions posed by that technology still plague copyright law today. Namely, will digital technology sap the value of my intellectual property?
The future of copyright law
While patent reform is a hot topic in Washington, D.C., these days, potential reform to copyright law has not received as much attention. Perhaps the biggest piece of legislation in this arena in the past 20 years was the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), which was passed in 1998.