Re:Create Recap February 13, 2020

DMCA Original Bill Author Praises Its Record Of Success. Senator Patrick Leahy, an original co-author of the the bipartisan bill highlighted its success in opening remarks at the hearing: “The DMCA has been a success for 22 years…Congress needs to ensure any adjustments are balanced and protect innovation and copyright.”

ReCreate Coalition Lauds DMCA’s Bipartisan Origins, Continued Effectiveness. Following the Senate Subcommittee on Intellectual Property hearing to evaluate the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), Re:Create Executive Director Joshua Lamel commented on the “years of bipartisan work that led to this cornerstone of our nation’s copyright law.” The statement highlighted how the “DMCA has proven its continued effectiveness in promoting creativity and economic growth today” and urged caution with new policy proposals.

Changes Would Make DMCA Much Worse. Rebecca Tushnet, a First Amendment professor at Harvard Law School, delivered testimony that stressed the dangers of changes. She stated that while the system is “by no means perfect…like democracy, it’s better than most of the alternatives that have been tried.”

DMCA Is Working. In his opening remarks, ReCreate member and an attorney who worked on the DMCA negotiations Jonathan Band reinforced the care and balance that went into drafting the DMCA: “Congress made these policy choices with open eyes and a clear understanding of where the technology was headed. The courts generally have applied the DMCA in a manner consistent with Congress’s intent. The overall balance struck in 1998 remains in place today.”

Review Of DMCA Should Consider Interests Of Independent Creators. In her opening remarks, University of Michigan Professor of Law and Information Jessica Litman called for the interests of small, independent creators to be considered as larger corporations so they can resolve issues through private negotiations: “It is vitally important that the interests of small services and independent authors and artists, which often diverge substantially from their larger and wealthier counterparts, be protected in that process.”

Efforts To Change DMCA Should Be Scrutinized For Ramification On Story Of The Internet. In a letter before the committee hearing, Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF)warned against efforts to change the DMCA. The letter stated, “Predictable means of controlling liability is the only way platforms can continue to scale and innovate with an ever increasingly connected global community of users. Efforts to reverse course should be scrutinized heavily for their ramifications on the long and continuing success story of the modern Internet.”

DMCA Has Stood The Test Of Time. U.S. Court of Federal Claims Senior Judge Edward Damich, who helped craft the bill with Sen. Orrin Hatch pointed to the origins of the DMCA in his opening remarks: “In the end, the purpose of the DMCA was to provide to the American people low-cost, easy electronic access to the works that they desire by protecting copyright and at the same time promoting the flourishing of the internet, while making specific provisions for certain groups who would otherwise be adversely affected by the Act.” While acknowledging that a second look is warranted during his opening remarks, he stated his belief that “This law has stood the test of time.”

For Background On The DMCA, Check Out The Below Resources:

Economic Study: Updated Study Finds Revenues from the New Creative Economy Grew 15% To $7 Billion In Just One Year
LA Times Ed Board: Copyright holders win big in Europe, but at what cost?
Video: Understanding the DMCA Section 512 and Safe Harbors
Podcast: Notice and Takedown: Leave It Be