These CDT comments respond to the Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator’s request for feedback while updating the Joint Strategic Plan on Intellectual Property Enforcement. CDT’s comments focus specifically on copyright enforcement, although some of the more general principles may be useful for other areas of intellectual property as well.
CDT believes copyright enforcement must aim to protect the rights of content creators without curtailing the Internet’s tremendous potential for fostering innovation and free expression. That is not to suggest that there is any inherent conflict between copyright enforcement and online innovation or speech; large-scale copyright infringement undermines First Amendment values and threatens the growth of new media and e-commerce.
There is, however, a range of possible enforcement tactics or practices that could be attractive from a copyright protection perspective but would carry significant costs to innovation and free expression. These are tactics the Federal Government should studiously avoid.