U.S. Embassy Montevideo - Archives


Director of U.S. Copyright Office gives lecture on “Copyright in the Information Age”

Dr. Marybeth Peters's presentation focuses on the history and structure of copyright protection in the U.S.

May 20, 2004


Doctor Marybeth Peters, Director of the U.S. Copyright Office gave a conference Tuesday (May 18) in the headquarters of the General Association of Uruguayan Authors (AGADU) on copyright legislation in the age of digital technology.

The conference was presented by the U.S. Embassy, AGADU, the Uruguayan Chamber for Producers of Audio and Video Recordings (CUD), Software Legal of Uruguay, the Uruguayan Institute for Copyright (IUDA), the Uruguayan Performer’s Society (SUDEI) and the Uruguayan Video Union with the support of the Copyright Council, the Uruguayan Institute of Copyright, the Chamber of Commerce Uruguay-United States of America and the University of Montevideo.

About 60 people representing these organizations, as well as representatives of national and local government attended the conference. Dr. Carlos Fernández Ballesteros, President of IUDA, ex General Sub-Director of the World Organization for Intellectual Property and Secretary-General of the Latin American Copyright Organization acted as Master of Ceremonies.

AGADU President Alexis Buenseñor and Political and Economic Officer Oliver Griffith opened the conference.

Professor Buenseñor quoted renowned American author and professor Arthur Miller on the recent emphasis on protecting authors’ rights and its importance in today’s increasingly globalized world.

Griffith emphasized the importance of copyright legislation to the “economic well-being of Uruguay” due to its role in attracting foreign investment and providing a more secure market for foreign products. He also mentioned that the enactment of such legislation was one of the primary objectives of the United States government in Uruguay.

Dr. Peters’ 45-minute presentation focused on the history and structure of copyright protection in America, its importance in the cultural development of a nation, recent advances in international copyright legislation and the difficulties created by modern technology with regard to authors’ abilities to protect their work.

“The only way that we will ever grow is by encouraging creativity and invention,” she said. “We need a provision (in the Constitution) that Congress shall encourage creativity and knowledge… A great society basically requires that those who are the most creative, those who are the most inventive must have that incentive to let that creativity to grow… Every time a new piece of copyright legislation is passed, it is done with the goal of encouraging creativity and protecting whatever it is that creators need in order to be able to continue their work.”

All three speakers mentioned several times the importance of actually enforcing copyright legislation passed through a lawmaking body.

“Penalties for infringements should be severe enough that violators don’t just count them as part of their production costs,” said Peters.

A brief question and answer session, followed by refreshments, concluded the conference.


Full text of Hector Rubio Sica's speech


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