Daily Archives: October 9, 2008

Fair Copyrights in Research Works Act-What is it?

This is a House of Representatives bill (H.R. 6845) that is designed to protect private citizens’ copyrights from mandatory licenses that federal agencies may require in exchange for federal funds that are used for research.  This is an important piece of legislation in todays economy, where private parties may request funds from the government to invest in research efforts to provide technology that may benefit the public. 

The “Fair Copyrights in Research Works Act” prevents federal agencies from requiring that private parties assign, license or transfer copyrights in extrinsic works.  Extrinsic works essentially means something that is not created by the US Government, jointly funded by a private party, and represents something that is a meaningful value added by the private party. 

This is an important piece of legislation in todays economy where both federal agencies and private parties are routinely engaging in joint research efforts.  It will be an important tool for private parties to protect interests in works that they create and enable them to enforce their copyrights against private and government infringers.  Below is a version of the bill as it is currently proposed in the House of Representatives.

Fair Copyrights in Research Works Act