Jason Bloom in Bloomberg Law: ‘Claims Tribunal, Music Rates Headline 2021 Copyright Issues’

01/12/2021

Haynes and Boone, LLP Partner Jason Bloom talked with Bloomberg Law about some significant developments set to play out in copyright law in 2021, including a new small claims tribunal and a music licensing collective.

Here is an excerpt:

The tribunal will be a new, affordable way to enforce copyrights that aren’t valuable enough to take to federal court in long and costly litigation, rightsholders say. Infringers currently can act with near impunity, they say.

Others worry it could be a haven for abuse, and perhaps unconstitutional with nearly unappealable awards granted outside of a court. Copyright attorneys remain uncertain how the new forum will take shape.

“It’s the first time the Copyright Office has functioned in this capacity. So it’s not easy to just overnight set up a mechanism for handling litigation-style disputes,” copyright attorney Jason P. Bloom of Haynes and Boone, LLP said.

The law requires the tribunal to be operational one year after passage, with allowance for a 180-day extension.

Google vs. Oracle

The U.S. Supreme Court is expected to rule by July on whether Oracle’s multibillion-dollar win over Google after the search giant was found to infringe Oracle’s Java copyright should stand. The decision may shake up both software copyrightability and deference to juries’ fair use rulings.

“That’s going to be the biggest case in terms of dollar value, and a case that will ripple across an industry,” Bloom said. Oracle says it’s entitled to at least $8.8 billion in damages.

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