Department of Commerce Issues Report on Copyright Policy in the Digital Age

As Congress continues to hear testimony regarding potential changes to the U.S. copyright system, the Department of Commerce recently issued a green paper on Copyright Policy, Creativity, and Innovation in the Digital Economy. It addresses striking the proper balance between the rights of copyright holders and the innovative power of the Internet and the free flow of information.

“Ensuring that our copyright policy provides incentives for creativity while promoting innovation on the Internet is a critical and challenging task. The Green Paper released today is an important step toward ensuring that the United States’ creative industries continue to have a substantial impact on strengthening our nation’s economy,” said U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker.

The green paper was prepared by the Department of Commerce’s Internet Policy Task Force (IPTF) with input from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) and the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA). According to the USPTO, it is the most thorough and comprehensive analysis of digital copyright policy issued by any administration since 1995.

The report includes recommendations to establish a stakeholder dialogue on improving the operation of the notice and takedown system under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) as well as proposals to solicit public comments and convene 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.

If you need any help with Intellectual Property issues, from filing a patent, trademark or copyright, or just need advice regarding how best to protect your inventions, ideas or your brand, please contact me at 1-855-UR IDEAS (1-855-874-3327). Stay up-to-date on the latest Intellectual Property Law news from Sheldon Mak & Anderson.

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