Monday, August 19, 2013

Government seeks input as to copyright policy for digital age

The United States Department of Commerce Internet Policy Task Force has issued a 122-page paper which, among other things, calls for comment as to changes which should be made in the copyright law to accommodate the technological advances of the digital age, entitled "COPYRIGHT POLICY, CREATIVITY, AND INNOVATION IN THE DIGITAL ECONOMY" (PDF).

In a blog post about the paper, issued by the United States Patent & Trademark Office, entitled "We Want to Hear from You on Copyright Policies in the Digital Economy", Chief Policy Officer and Director for International Affairs Shira Perlmutter writes:

The Green Paper calls for new public input on critical policy issues that are central to our nation’s economic growth, cultural development and job creation..... [W]e will soon be reaching out to the public for views on a variety of topics. Please stay tuned for announcements about how to share your thoughts, insights, and recommendations.

In recent years, the debates over copyright have become increasingly contentious. Too often copyright and technology policies are seen as pitted against each other, as if a meaningful copyright system is antithetical to the innovative power of the Internet, or an open Internet will result in the end of copyright. We do not believe such a dichotomy is necessary or appropriate.....

By intention, the Green Paper does not set out substantive policy recommendations, except where the administration is already on record with a stated position. Rather, it seeks to provide a thorough and objective review of the lay of the land—describing changes that have already occurred, identifying areas where more work should be done, and setting out paths to move that work forward.....

... In the coming weeks, we will begin to move forward on the specific items outlined in the paper for IPTF action:

Establishing a multistakeholder dialogue on improving the operation of the notice and takedown system for removing infringing content from the Internet under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA).

Soliciting public comment and convening roundtables on:

The legal framework for the creation of remixes—user-generated content that uses portions of copyrighted works in creative ways.

The relevance and scope of the first sale doctrine in the digital age.

The appropriate calibration of statutory damages in the context of
(1) individual file sharers and
(2) secondary liability for large-scale infringement.

Whether and how the government can facilitate the further development of a robust online licensing environment, including access to comprehensive public and private databases of rights information.

Commentary & discussion:



Anonymous said...

People have lost respect for copyright plain and simple. It's abused to extort people out of thousands for downloading a $15 product.

Not sure how downloading instantly makes a products value increase 500 times, but it does.

The war on sharing is absurd because we all do it. How many of you have ever loaned out tools? I'm guessing most if not all of you. That action might have prevented a sale, but we don't hear tool makers crying over it.


David Bullock said...

Downloading doesn't increase the value 500 times.

Uploading the product to make it available for free distribution to the entire planet incurs damages 500x the value of the product.

I do think things are out of balance. Copyright holders have essentially eternal rights to anything they can create, giving them monopolies on the content. Publishers also use technology to circumvent our rights through technological means.

The relationship has become dangerously one-sided and I think the common cultural response of completely disregarding respect for copyright is the unintended consequence of that imbalance.


Unknown said...

I think to balance the equation it would be prudent to have reasonable available legal digital options for downloads. Studies show that people will and do pay for stuff, only a shockingly small minority truly don't.

Every time when access is provided to material pirating drops.

It also wouldn't hurt to have more incentives to encourage embracing alternative options, instead of avoiding the new profit option and just sue, sue, SUE.

Abe said...

I'm glad attitudes are finally changing but it is probably just a placating method.