Rep. Morella's remarks from the Congressional Record



 (Extension of Remarks - October 13, 2020)

                                         [Page: E2141]


                                 HON. CONSTANCE A. MORELLA

                                   in the House of Representatives

                                    MONDAY, OCTOBER 12, 2020

     Mrs. MORELLA. Madam Speaker, I am pleased to see that the disparate parties could come together and work out a compromise on the Digital Millennium Copyright Act . I believe that it is critical that we ensure that there is a balance     between the compensation received by developers of copyrighted works and the public's fair use of those copyrighted works.

     However, as I stated when this bill was being considered on the House floor, I am deeply troubled that H.R. 2281 did not update the copyright law concerning distance education. Although the Conference Report authorizes the Register of     Copyrights to submit to Congress recommendations on how to promote distance education through digital technologies, I believe the amendment that I was planning to offer struck the appropriate balance between the copyright owners and the    educational community.

     As we enter the 21st Century, distance education will play an even more pivotal role in educating our children, as well as those individuals interested in life long learning. Distance education will fill an important gap for individuals who, because of family obligations, work obligations, or other barriers, are prevented from attending traditional classes. It will also allow educational institutions, from outlying rural towns to the heart of America's inner cities, to access a full range of academic subjects that would otherwise not be available to them.

     Recently, Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) received a $9 million federal grant to help the school system develop more effective ways of incorporating technology into the classroom. One of the most promising uses of technology in the classroom is the incorporation of distance education into the everyday lives of educators and students. I believe it will be an injustice if the public schools in my District are unable to fulfill the promise of distance education because we have an outdated copyright law that does not allow for the effective use of distance education in a digital world.

     Due to the exceptional talent of our teachers and administrators, Montgomery County's educational system has always been in the forefront of educational innovation. I believe it is critical that we provide our teachers with all the available     tools to allow them to continue to find new and exciting ways of educating students. Thus, we must update the copyright law regarding distance education to meet the new challenges and allow for new and exciting technologies that will improve the education of our citizens as we prepare them to compete in this more competitive global economy. I intend to monitor the conduct of the distance education study and work closely with the Register of Copyrights, the educational community, the copyright owners and the relevant House committees over the next several months to develop legislation that will promote distance education in the digital age.

                                         [Page: E2142]


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