Christopher A. Meyer (1946-1999)

Christopher Allan Meyer, was one of the country's foremost experts on copyright law.   He was a principal drafter of the legislation passed by Congress that afforded computer software explicit protection as copyrighted works.  Mr. Meyer then served as Policy Planning Advisor at the US Copyright Office, where he led or served on US government delegations to China, Japan, Taiwan and numerous other countries to urge protection of US Computer software and other copyrighted works around the world. The software protection that Mr. Meyer drafted and advocated soon became a global standard, and was made part of an international treaty signed by more that 130 countries, representing more that 97 percent of the world trade.  

Later in his career, Mr. Meyer returned to government service as Senior Copyright Counsel at the Office of Legislative and International Affairs of the US Patent and Trademark Office. He served as the principal copyright advisor to the US Trade Representative’s investigation of copyright piracy in China and was instrumental in formulating the Clinton Administration’s policy on copyright law and the Internet. He was a co-author of the Administration’s report, known as the “White Paper,” which began the process that resulted in the recent passage of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.

Over the course of his career, Mr. Meyer represented software, motion picture and record companies, as well as magazine publisher, information providers, playwrights, and other authors and copyright owners on a wide variety of domestic and international copyright and trademark issues. He participated in many important copyright cases in the United States and abroad, as a litigator or expert witness, including precedent-setting copyright infringement cases involving Texaco and Kinko’s Graphics Corp., a national photocopying chain.  Mr. Meyer testified before Congress on several copyright bills, and was one of the key players in the current congressional debate over the legal protection of databases. 

Mr. Meyer taught basic and advanced courses in copyright law as an adjunct professor Georgetown University and Miami University, and was a frequent lecturer at law schools around the country. He published many significant articles on copyright protection, and was a co-author of Entertainment Law, a popular legal treatise on laws affecting the entertainment industry. 

He was a lifelong resident of Maryland and a four-year army veteran, and a rabid Orioles fan.  He was a cum laude graduate of George Washington University (1972) with a degree in economics. Mr. Meyer received his law degree from Rutgers Law School  (1975). In 1983-84, he served as a Fellow in Statistics and Economics at Princeton University. 

 Mr. Meyer is survived by Julie Jensen, his wife of 12 years, and two sons, Charles Andrew Meyer and Andrew James Meyer, all of Chevy Chase, Md. 

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