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LGBT Group Seeks Changes To Make It Easier For Same-Sex Couples To Pass On Copyrights

Group Sent Letter To Wisconsin Congressman


A Wisconsin business group is asking Congress to change copyright inheritance rules to make it easier for same-sex couples to pass on intellectual property rights.

Wisconsin’s LGBT Chamber of Commerce has written to U.S. Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner, R-Wis., who sits on the House’s Subcommittee on Courts, Intellectual Property and the Internet. They want him to support a change to the U.S. Copyright Act. Now, couples who were married in the 30 states where gay marriage is legal — but die in a state where it’s not – can’t inherit copyrights.

Jason Rae, the chamber’s executive director, said that this creates real concern for couples in this situation.

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“So, if you’re living in any of those states that don’t in that point in time, if you were to die, your copyright ownership rights on a piece of work you created, a piece of art, a book or something like that wouldn’t be able to be transferred to your surviving partner,” Rae said.

Gay marriage became legal in Wisconsin this year.

Rae said he just sent the letter to Sensenbrenner’s office this week and he hasn’t heard back yet.

He’s also reached out to other members of Congress to let them know about the legislation.

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