Re:Create Recap – April 6, 2017

Re:Create Coalition Urges Congress And White House To Support Balanced Copyright. As covered by Axios’ Login, the Re:Create Coalition sent letters this week to Congress and the White House urging our nation’s leaders to encourage a copyright agenda that supports innovation, creators, and consumers. The letter explained, “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.” Read the letters here.

Inspector General Report Reveals Waste And Mismanagement At Copyright Office – To The Tune Of $11.6 Million. An Inspector General’s report revealed the U.S. Copyright Office wasted $11.6 million on a new computer system and lied to Congress and the Librarian of Congress about the project’s process as reported by Techdirt in the article Newly Leaked Documents Expose Stunning Waste And Incompetence At The Copyright Office. A project to build the Electronic Licensing System (eLi) was authorized in 2010 with a budget of $1.1 million; ultimately after six years of reports from the Copyright Office that the project was on track, eLi was scrapped in 2016 with more than $11.6 million spent. Under the leadership of ousted Register Maria Pallante, the Copyright Office did not update the project budget or institute a management body to evaluate and approve additional funding.

DMCA: Balanced Copyright Law That Benefits Innovation, Economic Growth.

In What They’re Saying About The Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), the Re:Create Coalition gathered comments by policy experts, law professors and other thought leaders in the copyright field who agree that the DMCA is a balanced law that benefits innovation, economic growth and creativity.

Opinion: Register Of Copyrights Bill Would Give Hollywood Even More Power Over Congress. An op-ed from Mike Masnick in The Verge explained how Congress is trying to give even more power to Hollywood with the introduction of the Register of Copyrights Selection and Accountability Act. The bill would make the Register of Copyrights a position appointed by the president and approved by the Senate — currently the Register is appointed by the Librarian of Congress. Masnick noted the “massive” lobbying power of the entertainment industry and elaborated the various consequences of making the Register a political appointee. He wrote, “[M]aking the Copyright Office political would simply accelerate its unfortunate drift toward impulsively representing the interests of certain industries, instead of recognizing the complicated and nuanced impact of copyright in the internet age.” Last week the ReCreate Coalition issued a statement opposing the bill.

“Moral Rights” And Right Of Attribution Would Infringe On Creators’ Rights. In EFF Says No to So-Called ‘Moral Rights’ Copyright Expansion, the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) explores how expanding copyright law to include “moral rights” and right of attribution would be redundant to existing laws and jeopardize fair use. The First Amendment and current long standing copyright limitations prevent copyright holders from controlling how others use their works. EFF’s Kerry Sheehan and Kit Walsh wrote, “[b]y limiting authors’ abilities to control how their works are used, U.S. copyright law creates space for downstream creators and users to adapt and remix existing works to create new interpretations and meanings, without facing a veto from the original author.”