Hugh Pickens writes "Gigi Sohn, President of Public Knowledge, presented a six-step program for reforming outdated US copyright laws in a speech at the New Media conference at Boston University. Sohn expressed no patience with the 'disconnect between the law and the technology' of media production and distribution. He puts Fair Use at the top of the list for changes that will help return balance to copyright laws that have limited innovation, scholarship, creativity, and free speech. In addition to the four-part legal test for fair use currently on the books, Sohn recommends that Congress add incidental, transformative, and non-commercial personal uses to the list of fair uses enumerated in copyright law, and in addition expressly provide that making a digital copy for the purpose of indexing searches is not an infringement. Beyond Fair Use reform, Sohn advocates punishing copyright holders who 'knowingly or recklessly' send out false takedown notices, protecting the manufacturer of a technology from liability for the infringing activity of others if the technology has substantial non-infringing uses, promoting fair and accessible licensing of copyrighted works, limiting damages for the use of orphan works, and requiring copyright holders to provide notice of any limitations on users' ability to make fair or lawful uses of their products."
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