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