The Internet and the wide array of rapidly evolving digital communications tools are revolutionizing the way we create and enjoy creative works. Creating and publishing works, even on a large scale, is no longer solely the domain of a few. Digital tools offer new avenues for discovery and reuse of creative works, giving even the most specialized works new avenues to potential audiences. Digital storage offers significant advances in the preservation of and access to cultural collections such that rare and fragile works will not be lost or inaccessible. These developments significantly increase not only the potential pool of uses and users for orphan works, but also the number of creative works that might fall into orphan status in the future. These trends hold great promise for artistic and cultural progress. Copyright law and policy should accommodate and indeed foster this progress, so that the potential of the Internet and digital technology can serve the best interests of creators, users of creative works, and the public at large. CDT believes that developing balanced reforms regarding both orphan works and mass digitization would serve copyrightʼs fundamental goal of promoting the creation and dissemination of creative works.
Some degree of government surveillance and secrecy is necessary to protect against national security threats. However, overbroad government power to conduct mass surveillance with minimal transparency threatens Constitutional freedoms and inhibits meaningful public debate. Here are four – but not the only – needed national security surveillance reforms that the Administration and Congress should tackle now.