Monday, July 26, 2010

New copyright DMCA regulations

Tomorrow’s Federal Register will contain the long-awaited (they were originally scheduled to be published by October 27, 2009) triennial exemptions from Prohibition on Circumvention of Technological Measures that Control Access to Copyrighted Works. The American Association of Law Libraries (and others) requested that the prior exemption prohibition against circumvention of technological measures that control access to copyrighted works for the purpose of making compilations of portions of those works for educational use in the classroom by media studies or film professors be expanded to include professors in law and medical schools. More than we asked for, the exemption has been expanded to include:
* Educational uses by college and university professors and by college and university film and media studies students;
* Documentary filmmaking;
* Noncommercial videos.
The full recommendation of the Register of Copyrights and links to related documents, including the text of tomorrow’s final rule in the Federal Register are available at

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Congress changes the legal landscape of insurance

Congress recently passed legislation (H.R. 4173) creating the Federal Insurance Office, along with other sweeping financial and corporate reforms. The Federal Insurance Office will be under the auspices of the Department of Treasury. It will be responsible for monitoring the insurance industry, and for gathering and distributing information concerning insurance with an eye toward facilitating equal and fair access to insurance. The Federal Insurance Office will also serve as a uniform, national voice for insurance in the international arena and will streamline regulation of reinsurance (for example, the new statute specifically pre-empts state anti-arbitration laws in regard to reinsurance).

This is the first time the United States has had a federal agency with responsibility over the insurance industry in general. This national insurance reform is part of the comprehensive financial reform known as the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. the title to this blog entry links to the House Committee on Financial Services's webpage on the Dodd-Frank Act which contains an excellent summary of the legislation, the conference report and the text of H.R. 4173.