Supporting a Pro-Innovation, Pro-Creator, Pro-Consumer Copyright Agenda
We represent a cross-section of creators, advocates, thinkers and consumers. There has been no better time for creativity in history. Thanks to technological innovation, today there are more artists, publishers and authors creating more works on more platforms than ever before.
Our policy agenda is focused on the following ideas:
A balanced copyright system benefits creators, users and innovators. We believe society must support both those who originate works and the rights of those who legally access and acquire them. Online platforms that enable creativity and free expression rely partly on the exclusive rights granted by the Copyright Act, but also on the Act’s flexible limitations and exceptions to copyright such as fair use and the Digital Millennium Copyright Act’s (DMCA) safe harbors. It is this balanced approach that makes possible the online platforms that generate revenue streams for creators, small businesses, entrepreneurs, application developers, startups and large content producers. Consumers have more choice and the public has greater access to information.
The U.S. Constitution grants Congress the right to create copyright laws “to promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts.” Congress’s power to enact copyright regulation is a limited power under the U.S. Constitution. New proposals to reform copyright law and regulation should be viewed through the lens of whether they serve the purpose of promoting creativity.
Free expression is a core American value. We support the Constitutional promise that all people should be able to express themselves freely and believe that such expression includes fair use of works created by others, as protected by the Copyright Act and the courts.
Simpler is better. We stand for a copyright system that is clear, simple, transparent and appropriately limited.
A vibrant public domain is a core component of creativity and knowledge. The public domain nourishes creativity and is vital to continued and future creativity.
Efforts to curb copyright infringement should be encouraged, but not at the expense of legitimate uses. Supporting balanced copyright does not mean we support the improper use of copyrighted works. Rather, we want to make sure that efforts to reduce infringement do not prevent legitimate uses, stifle new innovations or bring unnecessary harms to consumers.
Fair use is a cornerstone of free speech, creativity and our economy. Fair use is one of the most important free speech protections. As such, it has enabled important political, educational and cultural discourse to occur. It has also allowed many industries, including motion pictures, music and the Internet, to flourish. Without fair use, for example, search engines wouldn’t exist. Fair use is an indispensable part of America’s economic and cultural success story and must be protected.
Owners should have user rights in what they purchase that should be respected. The appropriate balance is needed between the rights of the copyright holder in a work and the property rights of the purchaser of that work. As consumers transition to a world where content can be accessed from a variety of personal devices and technology becomes a part of an ever increasing array of products, it’s even more important than ever that consumers and businesses have the same capabilities and freedoms they have always enjoyed.
Legal safe harbors that ensure protections for the basic functionality of the Internet are essential. The rapid development of the commercial Internet is partially attributable to the legal safe harbors which provide online platforms with protection from liability on core Internet functionality if they meet certain requirements. This provides the legal certainty needed to allow creators to invest time, money and talent to develop new services and innovate.
Copyright litigation should not be used as a weapon. Too often, the threat of excessive statutory damages and litigation is used as a cudgel to threaten legitimate uses of a work. This has a profound chilling effect as, for many, self-expression or technological innovation is just not worth the risk of millions or billions of dollars in damages.