Summary: H.R.5498 — 101st Congress (1989-1990)All Information (Except Text)

Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

Shown Here:
Passed House amended (09/27/1990)

Copyright Amendments Act of 1990 - Title I: Computer Software - Computer Software Rental Amendments Act 1990 - Amends Federal copyright law to prohibit any person in possession of a computer software program from renting, leasing, or lending it for direct or indirect commercial advantage unless authorized to do so by the copyright owner.

Excludes certain home video game software from the prohibition (including a computer program embodied in a machine or product which cannot be copied during the ordinary operation of such machine or product).

Authorizes nonprofit libraries to lend computer programs if a copyright warning has been affixed to the computer program packaging.

Requires the Register of Copyrights to report to the Congress regarding the efficacy of this Act.

Sets forth remedies for copyright infringement in cases of violations of this Act.

Entitles the owner of a lawfully-made copy of an electronic audio-visual game intended for coin-operated equipment to publicly perform or display it on such equipment without the authority of the copyright owner of the game. States that this provision does not apply if the copyright owner is not also the copyright owner of the work of authorship embodied in such audio-visual game.

Authorizes the Register of Copyrights to record and maintain records of computer shareware. Authorizes the deposit of copies of such shareware in the Machine-Readable Collections Reading Room of the Library of Congress.

Title II: Architectural Works - Architectural Works Copyright Protection Act - Amends Federal copyright law to define and include architectural works within the scope of copyright subject matter.

Excludes from such copyright any right to prevent a pictorial representation of an architectural work if the work is embodied in a structure located in a public place.

Permits the owners of a structure embodying an architectural work to make alterations without the author's or copyright owner's consent.

Title III: Visual Artists Rights - Visual Artists Rights Act of 1990 - Amends the copyright law to define a "work of visual art." Grants the author of a work of visual art the right to claim authorship of such work when publicly displayed, independent of other exclusive rights, and to disclaim authorship of such work because of substantial distortion or alteration that harms his or her reputation. Grants such an author the right to prevent any destruction, distortion, mutilation, or other modification of that work which would harm his or her reputation or honor.

Extends such rights 50 years beyond the author's death (or co-author's, in the case of a joint work) with respect to visual art works created as of the effective date of this Act.

Waives artists' rights when a work cannot be removed from a building without distortion, mutilation, or alteration. Directs the Register of Copyrights to establish a recordation system for authors of visual art works that have been incorporated into a building.

Declares that this Act preempts equivalent rights under State law.

Includes within the scope of copyright infringement violations of the rights conferred by this Act. Declares that: (1) criminal infringement penalties do not apply to such violations; and (2) registration is not a prerequisite to copyright infringement actions for violations of this Act.

Directs the Register of Copyrights to report to the Congress the results of: (1) a study regarding the extent to which authorship rights have been waived; and (2) a feasibility study regarding new requirements enabling authors of works of visual art to participate in the commercial exploitation of their work after its first sale. Requires submission of such report within 18 months after enactment of this Act.