ReCreate Coalition Urges USTR To Clarify Intellectual Property Objectives For NAFTA

Trade negotiations must include fair use, strong safe harbors

WASHINGTON — After the Office of the United State Trade Representative (USTR) released its summary of trade objectives — including intellectual property — the Re:Create Coalition issued a statement urging USTR to include language on copyright protecting fair use and safe harbors for intermediaries, if copyright law is part of the negotiations:

“USTR’s vague and undefined language on intellectual property is a missed opportunity to export a balanced copyright framework that supports the creative economy and online free speech. The ‘provisions governing intellectual property rights…similar to that found in U.S. law’ include the fair use doctrine and safe harbor protections — not just copyright enforcement. As crucial cornerstones of the U.S. economy, fair use and safe harbors should be explicitly defined and safeguarded in any trade agreement.

“The copyright system cannot function effectively without fair use — and neither can the U.S. economy. A recent study from the Computer & Communications Industry Association revealed that fair use industries account for one-sixth of the U.S. economy, employing 1 in 8 workers and contributing $2.8 trillion in GDP.

“We will be closely observing the negotiations as they progress, and we hope to continue working with USTR and policymakers to ensure that if NAFTA addresses intellectual property, it must also include mandatory language on fair use and other copyright limitations and exceptions,” said Re:Create Coalition Executive Director Joshua Lamel.

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