Rogue websites and illegal streaming are among the digital rights issues the U.S. Copyright Office will address in the next two years, according to the organization's recently released "Priorities and Special Projects" report.
The report identified "rogue websites," or those offering users pirated versions of copyrighted books, movies and music, as a substantial and growing threat to rights holders. The Copyright Office pledged it will continue to work with Congress to find ways to identify and shut down these websites. The office seeks legislation allowing for court orders prohibiting credit card companies and internet advertising agencies from working with rogue sites.
In September, one of the founders of the NinjaVideo rogue website, which allowed users to download copyrighted movies and TV shows, pleaded guilty to copyright infringement. The site was funded by user fees and advertising dollars.
Current copyright law primarily addresses the problem of websites that distribute copies of protected work, but the report pointed out that more and more sites are streaming copyrighted media. Because streaming is considered a public performance rather than a reproduction and distribution rights issue, new legislation is required, and the report stated the Copyright Office will partner with Congress to craft needed laws.