Copyright Alliance Issues Statement on Newly Released U.S. Copyright Office DMCA Section 512 Study

May 21, 2020

Washington, D.C. – Today, Copyright Alliance CEO Keith Kupferschmid issued the following statement in response to the U.S. Copyright Office releasing the results of its long-awaited DMCA Section 512 Study:

“The report issued by the U.S. Copyright Office today came to a conclusion we have long known to be true: ‘the operation of the section 512 safe harbor system today is unbalanced.’ This report is extremely important to the copyright community and many others who are integral players in the online copyright enforcement ecosystem, and is the product of almost five years of thoughtful and comprehensive deliberation by the Copyright Office and the many stakeholders who have participated in the process. It contemplates numerous complex and difficult issues relating to online copyright enforcement, while specifically evaluating the impact and effectiveness of the safe harbor provisions contained in Section 512, which was enacted by Congress in 1998 as part of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). We very much appreciate all the hard work that went into the final report, and look forward to reviewing it in detail in the coming days.”

“When Congress enacted the DMCA 22 years ago as a means for copyright owners and online service providers to address online infringement, it was intended to balance the interests of the stakeholders in a way that would incentivize them to cooperate in a manner that would help reduce online piracy. However, since its enactment, online infringement has, like the internet itself, grown exponentially, causing widespread and unprecedented harm across the copyright community. Section 512 of the DMCA does not work effectively or efficiently for creators, and online service providers must do more to hold up their end of the bargain.”

“As we continue to read and digest the vast report, we applaud the Office for calling attention to areas of imbalance in the framework of Section 512, and how overly-expansive or narrow interpretations of the statute over the years have led to applications of the law that may differ from Congress’ original intent.”

“As we consider the challenges and recommendations as outlined in the report, we — along with the rest of the copyright community — stand ready to work with the Copyright Office, Congress and all other interested parties to reduce today’s rampant online piracy in a way that takes into account the interests of all stakeholders involved.”

A copy of the report can be found here.



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