In Case You Missed It – Highlights from Re:Create Coalition Members’ Comments on IPEC Joint Strategic Plan

**In Case You Missed It**

Highlights from Re:Create Coalition Members’ Comments on IPEC Joint Strategic Plan

WASHINGTON, D.C. – As the U.S. Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator (IPEC) formulates its Joint Strategic Plan for 2016-2019, the Re:Create Coalition and a number of its members filed comments about the importance of balancing the interests of rightsholders with innovation and the creative economy.

See below for a compilation of quotes from Re:Create Coalition members’ comments on IPEC strategy for the future:

American Library Association on the creative economy: “Kids and others (e.g., designers, entrepreneurs, and researchers) who engage in the creative process, with no intent of intellectual property infringement, must not be inhibited in their lawful activities. Continued U.S. leadership in the global economy demands the innovative contributions from as many Americans as possible and so creative efforts need to be encouraged at every opportunity and at every age (from kindergarteners to senior scholars).”

Center for Democracy & Technology on combating infringement: “Providing legal means to access works may be one of the most effective means of diverting users from illegal ones. When services such as Spotify and Netflix launch in new markets, copyright infringement tends to decrease. Connecting users to legal sources is as important as deterring the use of illegal ones.”

Computer & Communications Industry Association on combating infringement: “Competing with piracy in the marketplace is an essential component of any anti-piracy strategy. Because public resources (in the form of court costs and law enforcement activities) are expended on responses to domestic and international infringing activity which is in turn fueled by the unavailability of content, increasing access to legitimate content must be recognized as a demand reduction strategy.”

Consumer Electronics Association on reassessing statutory damages: “The potential for statutory damage claims in marginal cases to chill innovation and entry has been well documented through exhaustive study…Anecdotal accounts, however, suggest that some of the most publicized judgments are far in excess of what defendants are able to pay, which again raises questions about the marginal deterrence value of these massive sanctions. A focus of discussion, therefore, should also be whether and to what extent the availability of statutory damages actually does provide a deterrent against calculated infringement of copyright.”

Electronic Frontier Foundation on the importance of listening to the full spectrum of opinions and research: “Reliance on flawed research, and the drawing of unwarranted conclusions from research, illustrates an important truth: the federal government can no longer rely on a negotiated consensus among representatives of particular economic interests (entertainment distributors, technology companies, professional authors or musicians) as the sole basis for IP policy. Such consensus favors established, organized, politically well-connected, and wealthy interests while failing to account for the needs and rights of consumers, small businesses, and ordinary citizens.”

FreedomWorks on enforcement policy priorities: “Intellectual property law is overdue for much-needed revisions. As technology advances and redefines how intellectual property is both distributed and consumed, intellectual property laws must be adjusted so that they act as originally intended — to ‘promote the progress of science and the useful arts.’ In the political process it is easy to deviate from this original charge, and intellectual property laws can actually thwart the innovative process by creating artificial constraints that limit innovation while shoring up monopolies.

Library Copyright Alliance, on behalf of Re:Create members American Library Association and Association of Research Libraries, on public access: “The most important aspect for the IPEC to consider in the formulation of the Joint Strategic Plan is that the law in this area is designed to protect public access just as surely as it is designed to provide a reasonable reward for authors and publishers under certain circumstances. Indeed, the Constitution makes clear that the author’s limited right to control her works is only a means to an end, a government granted monopoly necessary to promote the creation of cultural and scientific work.”

Open Technology Institute on enforcement policy: “At the same time, we urge the Administration to carefully balance the economics and other interests in enforcing intellectual property rights with the rights of the public to speak freely, read widely, educate, share thoughts and ideas, critique and comment on the works of others, and innovate both technologically and creatively. After all, intellectual property is, at its heart, speech restriction—the justification for which is ‘to promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts.’”

Public Knowledge and the Organization for Transformative Works on balancing public and private interests: “We believe that the IPEC should engage a nuanced, systematic, and data-driven review of the intellectual property enforcement landscape that keeps in mind the balance that intellectual property rights are intended to strike between private and public benefits. Overly broad enforcement actions that fail to respect that balance will only serve to discredit the intellectual property system rather than strengthen it.”

Re:Create Coalition and 11 other organizations on the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC): “In its April 2014 decision Certain Digital Models, the International Trade Commission decided that its statutory authority to exclude “importation…of articles” that infringe patents, copyrights, and other intellectual property rights extended to a power to block downloads of Internet data…IPEC should investigate the ITC’s role over digital data transmissions and take steps as outlined above to prevent the ITC from imposing on the numerous and important benefits of the open Internet.”

Re:Create Coalition on copyright regulation: “Copyright law and its regulation of content creation and dissemination have a large impact on all of us. Attempts to improve the effective uses of U.S. copyright law serve an important purpose, but in doing so we must remain mindful that a heavy-handed regulatory approach will only stifle this new creative revolution.”

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