Dear Copyright Office, Safe Harbors Work. The Re:Create Coalition, its members and a number of other organizations submitted reply comments to the Copyright Office on February 21 as part of the its ongoing copyright review process. The comments collectively highlight the importance of safe harbor provisions in fostering creativity and innovation on the internet. “Thanks to the openness of the user-generated platforms on the internet enabled by Section 512 of the DMCA, there is now a growing and important class of ‘new creators,'” Re:Create noted in its comments. Meanwhile, the Electronic Frontier Foundation wrote, “The safe harbors help protect the Internet as a viable and accessible platform for free expression and innovation…” Check out highlights from the comments here, which include perspectives from FreedomWorks, the Institute for Intellectual Property & Social Justice, Engine, Public Knowledge, R Street Institute, Center for Democracy & Technology, and many more.
New Podcast: Fair Use And You. What is fair use? What does it mean to me? Why should I care? The latest Copy This podcast episode,”Fair Use: You Need It More Than You,”delves into the details of this important protection, which helps protect our right to free speech and creative expression online. The Electronic Frontier Foundation’s Corynne McSherry explains to host Kirby Ferguson that “fair use is a great big protection for all of us and we are often not aware it.”
Google: 99.95% Of Recent “Trusted” DMCA Takedown Notices Were Bogus. TorrentFreak covers Google’s recent comments submitted to the U.S. Copyright Office, which note that “99.95% of URLs it was asked to take down last month didn’t even exist in its search indexes.” This means that the vast majority of takedown notices sent to Google Search did not even involve pages in its search index. Google also cited upgrades made to its takedown tools: “First, in recent years, Google has streamlined its submission process, enabling rightsholders to send more notices more easily…Second, Google has provided new incentives to make heavy use of the DMCA takedown system.”
Fair Use Myths Debunked During Fair Use Week. The Association of Research Libraries (ARL) released an infographic illustrating common misperceptions about fair use during its annual Fair Use/Fair Dealing Week. In a blog post, ARL’s Krista Cox wrote, “Fair use and fair dealing are vitally important rights for everybody, everywhere – students, faculty, librarians, journalists, and all users of copyrighted material. These doctrines provide balance to the copyright system by allowing the use of copyrighted resources without permission from the rightsholder under certain circumstance, thereby promoting creative progress and accommodating freedom of expression.”
USTR Should Focus On Copyright Regulations. That’s according to the Computer & Communications Industry Association and Internet Association, both of which participated in the U.S. Trade Representative’s (USTR) annual Special 301 review of foreign intellectual property laws. CCIA President & CEO Ed Black said, “We are asking USTR to monitor protectionist copyright policies as part of their annual report on problematic intellectual property laws around the world.” When it comes to advancing U.S. interests in intellectual property, the Internet Association urged USTR to “not only highlight enforcement measures that may be necessary to deter illicit activity, but also address unbalanced systems of intellectual property and intermediary liability protection in other countries.”
ALA’s Jim Neal: Fair Use And Balanced Copyright Law Drive The Nation’s Economy. In a February 21 op-ed featured in The Hill during Fair Use Week, President-Elect of the American Library Association Jim Neal wrote about the origin of fair use and how Americans benefit from it everyday. According to Neal, “Copyright ‘limitations and exceptions’ don’t just fuel non-commercial pursuits. Entire industries, and our economy, are built on the balance at the core of American copyright law. None of today’s major internet companies – and their browsers, apps, programs, games and databases – would or could exist without them. Literally trillions of dollars of America’s GDP, and thousands of jobs, flow for fair use. That’s the power of balance…For our culture, our society, our economy that balance is everything.”