CLIP Examines the Past, Present and Future of Global Digital Copyright Reform

April 13, 2018

On March 23-24, 2018, the Center for Law and Intellectual Property (CLIP) at Texas A&M University School of Law held the “Digital Millennium Copyright Act at 20” Symposium. This event brought together legal commentators, policymakers and industry representatives to critically examine the past two decades of developments surrounding the Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998 (DMCA). It also explored the future of digital copyright reform in the United States and other parts of the world.

In addition to leading academic experts, this symposium featured Shira Perlmutter, Chief Policy Officer and Director for International Affairs at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office; Robert Kasunic, Associate Register of Copyrights and Director of Registration Policy and Practice at the U.S. Copyright Office; Dean Marks, formerly Executive Vice President and Deputy General Counsel—Chief Global Content Protection at the ‎Motion Picture Association of America; and Professor Justin Hughes, formerly chief U.S. negotiator for the Beijing Treaty on Audiovisual Performances and the Marrakesh Treaty to Facilitate Access to Published Works for Persons Who Are Blind, Visually Impaired or Otherwise Print Disabled.

dmca20-facultyTexas A&M Law ​professors Saurabh Vishnubhakat, Peter Yu, Jeff Slattery, Srividhya Ragavan, Glynn Lunney, and Brian Holland with Shira Perlmutter (USPTO) and Robert Kasunic (U.S. Copyright Office)

“Since its adoption in 1998, the DMCA has had major ramifications for the development of copyright law and internet-based communication,” said Professor Peter K. Yu, who directs CLIP and organized the symposium. “We are delighted to see our students and recent graduates interacting with such a distinguished group of copyright law experts. Here at Texas A&M, we pride ourselves in providing opportunities for students to engage with intellectual property thought leaders whose ideas and contributions they have studied in the classroom.”

DMCA at 20 Prof. LunneyProfessor Glynn Lunney shared the findings of his new Cambridge University Press book, Copyright's Excess: Money and Music in the US Recording Industry

Also participating in this symposium were Texas A&M professors from the School of Law and the Department of Communication. Brian Holland, a longtime faculty member at Texas A&M Law, chaired the panel on “DMCA and Emerging Development.” Prior to joining academia, he was involved in the Eldred v. Ashcroft litigation before the U.S. Supreme Court, which challenged the constitutionality of copyright term extension.

“The DMCA was intensely controversial in 1998,” said Professor Holland. “Apparently, the passage of time has done little to quell these debates. This symposium was the most lively, yet respectful and constructive academic conference I have attended in a very long time. It was a great experience.”

top 7 IP programTexas A&M University School of Law currently has seven full-time intellectual property law professors. Boasting one of the lowest student-faculty ratios in this specialized area among U.S. law schools, the Texas A&M intellectual property law program has been ranked seventh in the nation in the past two years, based on peer surveys conducted by U.S. News and World Report.

► See more photos from the symposium on Flickr.