Friday, October 11, 2013

You Can't Copyright The Budget Shutdown In Washington; Forbes, 10/4/13

Jess Collen, Forbes; You Can't Copyright The Budget Shutdown In Washington: "The shutdown has had an immediate impact and presence in the everyday life of my office. There are daily questions of conflict, ownership rights, transfers and legal protection. People log onto the Copyright Office website all day long. We rely on the information it supplies to help understand ownership rights if someone is threatening a claim against a client. It helps us identify properties when there is a merger or acquisition. Sometimes we use its useful research tool to see what registrations are owned by a particular company or for a special type of work. Losing the website sends us back to the Dark Ages... These things are likely not as mission critical as the shutdown effect in many areas, maybe even most. But adding up all the dollars of all the hundreds of thousands of people who are daily involved in various intellectual property-based endeavors in the knowledge economy, the impact probably touches more lives than one might think. This will be the least compelling story you will read all week about the shutdown. I know that. But there is an insidious impact maybe thinly, but certainly broadly, felt. And, lawyers being lawyers, there will be no absence of papers filed in the weeks to come blaming delays and uncertainly on the “impossibility” of taking certain actions or filing certain papers because the Copyright Office was down. Wait and see."

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