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November SES Webinar - Copyright: A Case Study
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November SES Webinar - Copyright: A Case Study

Wednesday, November 15th from 1-2:30 pm ET - Copyright: A Case Study presented by Clark Silcox, General Counsel at NEMA

When: Wednesday November 15th
1 - 2:30 PM
Where: United States
Contact: Mike Morrell

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Wednesday, November 15th from 1-2:30 pm ET - Copyright: A Case Study presented by Clark Silcox, General Counsel at Nema


Consensus standards developed through standards development organizations, consortia and other consensus bodies are typically published under claim of copyright in the name of the standards body.  Courts have recognized a protectable legal interest in copyright in these standards publications.

This webinar will review some of the general principles of U.S. copyright law and discuss several specific cases in which copyright law was applied to consensus standards.

The webinar will conclude with a discussion of the issue that is receiving the most attention today:  when consensus standards are merely referenced in a legislative enactment or a government regulation, does the referenced standards publication lose its protectable interest under copyright law?  The U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia recently answered that question in the negative.  That ruling is now on appeal to the U.S. Court of Appeals, and will likely be decided in 2018.  The Executive Branch, through the Office of Management and Budget and the Office of the Federal Register, have also recently answered that question in the negative as well.


Clark Silcox is Secretary and General Counsel to the National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA) based in Rosslyn, Virginia outside of Washington, D.C, a position he has held since 1998.  In that capacity, he has overall legal responsibility for NEMA’s legal compliance program as well as internal compliance with NEMA policies and procedures.  

Mr. Silcox is a member of the Board of Directors of the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), and he is currently the chair of ANSI’s Copyright Group, a part of the ANSI Intellectual Property Rights Policy Committee, which addresses issues such as the interface between patent and antitrust law in the context of industry standardization, as well as copyright law.  Mr. Silcox is also the chairperson of ANSI’s Appeals Board.

Prior to joining NEMA in 1998, Mr. Silcox was in private law practice in Washington, D.C.  While in private practice, he participated in the U.S. Technical Advisory Group to ISO TC 199 on machinery safety.  Mr. Silcox graduated from The George Washington University Law School in 1978 and the University of California at Berkeley with a bachelor’s degree in economics in 1975.  He is a member of the Virginia State Bar, the District of Columbia bar, and the State Bar of California.