Copyright Principles and Priorities to Foster a Creative Digital Marketplace
George Mason University Legal Studies Research Paper Series, LS 17-19
24 Pages Posted: 4 Dec 2017
Date Written: December 1, 2016
Over the course of the last two years, Congress has engaged in a comprehensive review of the Copyright Act. This is the first such review in nearly two generations, and it lays the groundwork for further inquiries and proposals regarding how the law might be amended and how the institution responsible for its administration, the U.S. Copyright Office, might be modernized and restructured to better support a thriving digital marketplace of unprecedented creativity and innovation. A robust, well-functioning, and up-to-date Copyright Act, along with a modern, appropriately resourced Copyright Office, are important to all stakeholders, especially the general public, which is the ultimate beneficiary of the copyright system.
We propose the following organizing principles for any further work reviewing or revising the Copyright Act:
(1) Stay True to Technology-Neutral Principles and Take the Long View (2) Strengthen the Ability of Authors to Create and to Disseminate Works (3) Value the Input of Creative Upstarts (4) Ensure that Copyright Continues to Nurture Free Speech and Creative Freedom (5) Rely on the Marketplace and Private Ordering Absent Clear Market Failures (6) Value the Entire Body of Copyright Law
These principles in turn suggest that Congress prioritize the following areas for action:
(1) Copyright Office Modernization (2) Registration and Recordation (3) Mass Digitization and Orphan Works (4) Small Claims (5) Notice and Takedown (6) Streaming Harmonization
A focus on and respect for authorship and creativity reflects the values our country was built on, rooted in our Constitution. The public benefits from the resulting intellectual and cultural diversity, from the innovation that is possible through collaboration with the technology industries, as well as from the promotion of a sustainable and innovative economy.
Keywords: Copyright, Copyright Act, Copyright office, modernization, digitization, orphan works, registration, notice, takedown, streaming
JEL Classification: K19
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation