The U.S. Department of Commerce released a green paper on Copyright Policy, Creativity, and Innovation in the Digital Economy (Green Paper) to advance discussion on a set of policy issues critical to economic growth. The Green Paper discusses the goals of maintaining an appropriate balance between rights and exceptions as the law continues to be updated; ensuring that copyright can be meaningfully enforced on the Internet; and furthering the development of an efficient online marketplace.
The Green Paper provides a comprehensive review of current policy related to copyright and the Internet, and identifies important issues that call for attention and development of solutions. The solutions may entail a combination of legal remedies, technology, private sector cooperation, and public outreach and education, along with the continued development of options to legally access copyrighted works.
In the Green Paper, the IPTF proposes the following actions:
- Establishing a multistakeholder dialogue on improving the operation of the notice and takedown system under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA).
- Soliciting public comment and convening roundtables on:
- The legal framework for the creation of remixes;
- The relevance and scope of the first sale doctrine in the digital environment;
- The application of statutory damages in the context of individual file-sharers and secondary liability for large-scale online infringement;
- The appropriate role for the government, if any, to help improve the online licensing environment, including access to comprehensive public and private databases of rights information.
The Green Paper reiterates the Administration’s support for legislation creating a public performance right for the broadcasting of sound recordings and enabling prosecutors to seek felony penalties for unauthorized streaming to the public. It supports congressional or regulatory attention to determine how best to rationalize rate-setting standards for different types of music services; reform music licensing, particularly the mechanical license for musical compositions; and ensure consumers can unlock their cell phones, subject to applicable service agreements. It supports the U.S. Copyright Office’s work to address the problems of orphan works and mass digitization, consider possible small claims procedures, update the statutory exception for libraries, and improve public registration and recordation systems. The Green Paper also supports and encourages enhancing public education and outreach efforts.
In preparing the Green Paper, USPTO and NTIA held listening sessions with interested stakeholders, convened a symposium, received hundreds of public comments, and reviewed comments submitted to other agencies on relevant topics. The IPTF will consider feedback it receives from public comments, roundtables and forums to determine how the current copyright framework can be improved to serve creators, right holders, service providers, consumers, innovation, and national economic goals.
The Green Paper can be found here: http://www.uspto.gov/news/publications/copyrightgreenpaper.pdf.