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The Department of Commerce’s Internet Policy Task Force today released a green paper titled “Copyright Policy, Creativity and Innovation in the Digital Economy.”
The following can be attributed to Sherwin Siy, Vice President of Legal Affairs for Public Knowledge:
“While the green paper makes a good faith effort to recognize the need for balanced copyright policy, in several areas it fails to recognize fully the negative effects of certain copyright enforcement policies on the public. For instance, it focuses in more detail, more frequently, on updating exclusive rights and enforcement measures than on preserving essential limitations and exceptions. In addition, its analysis of new enforcement tools doesn't always include all of the costs of such enforcement, particularly upon users.
"For example, the paper does not adequately discuss the effects upon free speech and due process implicated by website blocking, domain name seizures, or network-level content filtering. The green paper also will commonly refer to the need to address concerns of creators, rightsholders, and services, without addressing the interests of the public—the audiences and consumers who are the ultimate beneficiaries of copyright law.
“Despite our concerns with many of the green paper’s underlying assumptions, we commend the administration for raising a number of important questions for discussion and acknowledging the need for copyright reform on a number of issues. For instance, the green paper’s recognition that statutory damages need to be recalibrated due to their tendency to expose individuals and intermediaries to extremely high damages awards is a promising first step. In addition, the green paper also discusses reforms needed to facilitate remixes. If done properly, such reform could give greater certainty to remix artists and other creators. We are also happy to see that the paper recognizes the growing concern that sound recording artists are not compensated for over-the-air radio performances of their work."