Press Release

Professors Warn Library of Congress of Copyright Office Overreach on Unlocking the Box

July 25, 2016 , , , ,

Last Friday, five intellectual property law professors sent a letter to the acting Librarian of Congress, David S. Mao, to share their view that the Copyright Office’s developing stance on the Federal Communications Commission’s set-top box proposal runs counter Supreme Court rulings on copyright monopoly limits, specifically Sony v. Universal. Public Knowledge agrees that any arguments against “unlocking the box” based on copyright holder prerogatives are simply misinterpretations.

The following can be attributed to Ryan Clough, General Counsel at Public Knowledge:

“Copyright law shouldn’t be used as a pretext to maintain monopoly control over cable boxes, which costs consumers an average of $231 per year and stifles rapid innovation from improving the TV interfaces used everyday by tens of millions of Americans. The Copyright Office has an unfortunate history of siding with the interests of large entertainment companies by endorsing over-extensions of copyright law. As this letter makes clear, the Copyright Office should respect the court-established limits of copyright law, instead of intervening on policy issues outside its expertise.”

You may view the letter here. For more information, you may also view signatory Law Professor Annemarie Bridy’s recent article, “Whose Copyright Office?