Copyright Alliance Statement on Senate IP Subcommittee DMCA Hearing on the Notice-and-Takedown SystemJune 2, 2020
Washington, DC — Today, the Copyright Alliance submitted a statement for the record to the Senate Judiciary Committee’s IP Subcommittee regarding its June 2, 2020 DMCA Hearing titled Is the DMCA’s Notice-and-Takedown System Working in the 21st Century? The full statement can be found here. CEO Keith Kupferschmid also issued the following media statement regarding today’s hearing:
“One of the greatest threats to the welfare of the creative community is piracy. Piracy is a persistent and evolving problem for virtually all types of copyrighted works and copyright owners and undermines the rights of creators and the value of copyright. It is essential that the copyright industries be able to recoup their investments in order to fund the next wave of investment, create and distribute quality content for the public to enjoy, and ensure job stability for the nearly 5.7 million men and women these industries employ in the United States.
“Congress recognized the harms of online piracy, and in 1998, passed the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) as the primary way to combat it. Section 512 of the DMCA includes a notice and takedown process for copyright owners and a safe harbor for online service providers (OSPs). In passing the notice and takedown provisions in Section 512, Congress intended to encourage copyright owners and OSPs to work together to combat existing and future forms of online infringement. This approach was designed to remedy hardships faced not only by large copyright owners and OSPs, but also individual creators who undeniably lack meaningful tools to fight online infringement.
“Over two decades have now passed since the DMCA was enacted. Since that time, the interconnectivity provided by the internet has fundamentally changed commerce, communication, and the way the public experiences copyrighted works. Although the internet’s impact on creativity and interconnectivity have given us much to cheer about over the past two decades, there is also much that is problematic. One of the most significant problems is rampant online piracy. In the past two decades since the DMCA was enacted, online infringement has increased exponentially, causing widespread harm to the economic and creative vibrancy of the copyright community.
“Although Section 512 seems to have achieved Congress’ purpose when it was first enacted, over the past twenty-two years, court rulings and other unanticipated changes that have taken place in the online environment have rendered these provisions less effective, creating an ecosystem where mass copyright infringements are an unfortunate and regular occurrence. It is evident that the statute is under strain and that stakeholder collaboration is needed for the statute to live up to its potential as first imagined by Congress. And if such collaboration doesn’t come to fruition, perhaps it is time for Congress to reconsider this twenty-two-year-old bargain with an eye toward determining what areas of Section 512 may need to be recalibrated in order to rebalance the system.”
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.