What precisely are we talking about?

May 22, 2003

So we're all on the same page, here's a one-pager describing the contours of the Act. To summarize:

* The Act would require copyright owners to pay a small fee to maintain their copyright on any published United States work 50 years after the date of first publication, and every five years afterwards for the duration of the copyright term.

* Unless payment is received by the date due, or during a subsequent 6-month grace period, the work would enter the public domain.

* A form similar to the one used to register a copyright must accompany the fee.

* The information submitted in the form shall be made easily accessible to the public who can use it to clear copyright uses.

* The fee would be paid to the Register of Copyrights, who would have one year from enactment of the Act to establish procedures to collect the fees, minimize the burden of submitting the form, and make the information in the forms publicly available.

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