Derek Khanna, the staffer who was fired from the Republican Study Committee for penning a widely-circulated copyright law reform memo, has finally spoken to the press after being released at the end the 112th Congress. The RSC, which chose to not retain Khanna, helps to inform Republican House members on various policies to shape laws.
Khanna said he wrote the controversial memo hoping to spark a debate around copyright law and its regulatory system, which he believes to be ineffective. To that effect he was wildly successful.
His suggestions include reductions to the copyright protection period and reducing statutory damages in copyright infringement.
Speaking with Techdirt, Khanna said he's optimistic about future debates around technology and copyright, despite his atypical departure. He said the Stop Online Piracy Act, which riled many across the internet, was a watershed moment in both discussing copyright reform and pulling the digital generation into political discourse.
But one major obstacle to reform is the Berne Convention: an international treaty requiring participating countries to recognize the copyright of works from other countries the same way it recognizes its own.