Washington, D.C. – December 15 — Today, Copyright Alliance CEO Keith Kupferschmid testified at the Senate Judiciary IP Subcommittee’s DMCA Hearing titled The Role of Private Agreements and Existing Technology in Curbing Online Piracy. In his testimony on behalf of the Copyright Alliance, Kupferschmid stated:
“In passing the notice and takedown provisions in section 512 of the DMCA, Congress intended to encourage copyright owners and service providers to work together to combat existing and future forms of online infringement. Although section 512 seemed to have achieved Congress’s purpose when it was first enacted, over the past twenty-two years, court rulings and other unanticipated changes that have taken place in the digital space have rendered these provisions ineffective, creating an ecosystem where mass copyright infringements are an unfortunate and regular occurrence. While section 512 remains a workable legal framework, it is evident that the statute is under strain and that stakeholder collaboration and cooperation are needed in order for the statute to live up to its potential as imagined by Congress.
“The primary problem is that section 512 has been so misinterpreted by the courts that service providers have little risk and need only do the absolute minimum required under the DMCA. All the while, copyright owners are being devastated by online infringement. This is true for copyright owners both large and small, but is especially burdensome for individual creators and small businesses. While copyright owners are struggling with infringement and lost revenue due to the pandemic, internet behemoths — like Google, Facebook, Amazon and Twitter — are reporting record earnings because of the enormous benefits they derive from the current system and their desire to reinforce the status quo. As a result, they have little interest to work with Congress or stakeholders to restore balance to the online ecosystem.
“The copyright community stands ready to work with the U.S. Copyright Office, the Administration, and other stakeholders to ensure that section 512 is an effective and meaningful statutory scheme to combat online infringement in the digital world. We are also prepared to work with OSPs and other stakeholders on voluntary agreements, technological solutions, standard technical measures, educational programs and any other initiatives that might help stem the tide of online infringement… But as long as OSPs sit on the sidelines making empty gestures, creators across the United States will continue to be ravaged by the tremendous harms caused by online infringement.”
The full testimony is available here.
ABOUT THE COPYRIGHT ALLIANCE
The Copyright Alliance is a non-profit, non-partisan public interest and educational organization representing the copyright interests of over 1.8 million individual creators and over 13,000 organizations in the United States, across the spectrum of copyright disciplines. The Copyright Alliance is dedicated to advocating policies that promote and preserve the value of copyright, and to protecting the rights of creators and innovators. For more information, please visit www.copyrightalliance.org.