Today, the Department of Commerce’s Internet Policy Task Force released its “White Paper on Remixes, First Sale, and Statutory Damages: Copyright Policy, Creativity, and Innovation in the Digital Economy.” Public Knowledge commends the Department for recognizing the importance of a balanced copyright law, and that copyright law’s onerous statutory damages provisions need to be changed.

The following can be attributed to Raza Panjwani, Policy Counsel at Public Knowledge:

“We are pleased to have the Department of Commerce join the chorus of voices calling for copyright reform that restores balance to the law. As Secretary Pritzker so clearly stated, ‘A healthy copyright system strikes important balances between rights and exceptions.’ In particular, we are glad to see the Department recognize the importance of remixes and fair uses of copyrighted works as expressive, political, and entertaining works that are valuable in their own right.

“The Department recognized that copyright’s burdensome statutory damages provisions deter the creation of remixes and investment in innovative platforms and technologies. Although we believe there’s much more to do on this and other copyright related issues, the Department’s recommendations to bring back a degree of economic rationality to damage awards and to provide greater protections to users who rely in good faith on exceptions like fair use are a promising first step towards much needed reform.

“We hope that the House Judiciary Committee will take up the statutory damages issue as it considers statutory reforms.”