Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

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Reported to Senate amended (07/10/1996)

Copyright Term Extension Act of 1996 - Extends the U.S. copyright term for an additional 20 years.

Revises copyright law to allow, during the last 20 years of any term of a copyright of a published work, a library, archives, or nonprofit educational institution to reproduce or distribute a copy or a phonorecord of such work, or portions thereof, for purposes of preservation, scholarship, teaching, or research, if such entity determines that the work: (1) is not subject to normal commercial exploitation; and (2) cannot be obtained at a reasonable price. Prohibits such reproduction or distribution if the copyright owner or its agent notifies the Copyright Office that either condition does not apply.

Amends provisions regarding preemption of laws concerning duration of copyrights. Prohibits the annulment or limitation of rights or remedies under State laws with respect to sound recordings fixed before February 15, 1972, until February 15, 2067 (currently, 2047).

Extends the duration of copyright in a work created on or after January 1, 1978, to the life of the author and 70 (currently, 50) years after the author's death. Makes the same extension with regard to joint works created on or after such date.

Extends the duration of copyright in anonymous or pseudonymous works or works made for hire on or after such date to 95 (currently, 75) years from the year of the first publication, or 120 (currently, 100) years from the year of creation, whichever expires first. Makes conforming extensions with respect to provisions regarding the presumption of an author's death.

Extends the duration of copyright in works created before January 1, 1978, and published on or before December 31, 2002, from December 31, 2027, to December 31, 2047.

Extends the duration of: (1) certain subsisting copyright renewals by a period of 20 years; and (2) copyrights in their renewal term at the time of the effective date of this Act to 95 years from the date such copyrights were originally secured.

Permits an author to terminate a transfer or license of a renewal (executed before January 1, 1978) of a copyright other than a work made for hire subsisting in its renewal term on the effective date of this Act for which the termination right has not been exercised, and has expired, by such date: (1) under specified existing conditions for termination; and (2) at any time during the five years beginning at the end of 75 years from the date copyright was originally secured.