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Final Report from the IPNII Working Group

Contact:
Richard Maulsby
703-305-8341
Press Release # 95-26

Commerce Secretary Ronald H. Brown today released the department's final report on the impact of the Clinton administration's National Information Infrastructure, the Information Superhighway, on current U.S. copyright laws.

The report explains applications of the laws in cyberspace and recommends certain changes in the intellectual property law to accommodate the digital age.

Brown, chairman of the White House Task Force on the NII, said, "The Commerce Department's mission is to make our economy grow, to promote science and technology, and to increase our international trade."

"This Report will help ensure that the NII has as favorable an environment as possible in which to develop an electronic marketplace for commerce," he said. "Unless we provide legal protection for intellectual property on the NII, customers won't be able to reap the benefits of these new technologies," Brown added.

Bruce A. Lehman, chairman of the Working Group on Intellectual Property, said, "Without enforceable laws in place, intellectual property owners will be unwilling to put their works at risk in this rapidly expanding digital environment. The Working Group has examined existing copyright law and is recommending changes that will allow owners and users of all types of materials, from movies to software, to realize the full potential of the information superhighway as a commercial marketplace."

Last summer, a preliminary draft of the report--the Green Paper--was released for public comment. This final report incorporates changes that resulted from the hearings conducted with interested groups around the nation and the public comments received.

The report includes recommendations to Congress regarding some limited, but important, changes to the copyright law, including clarification of the copyright owner's distribution right and amendment of the library privileges to bring them into the digital age.

##### September 1, 1995

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