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Open Internet

CDT files Copyright Comments with Commerce Department Task Force

Last week, CDT filed comments with the Department of Commerce’s Internet Policy Task Force, in response to its notice of inquiry on Copyright, Creativity, and Innovation in the Internet Economy. The task force is conducting a review of the relationship between copyright protection and enforcement and online services to inform Administration policy.

Our comments strike familiar and important themes, stressing the need to focus enforcement efforts on bad actors, and to be cautious about the effect ratcheting up enforcement efforts can have on legitimate services. In CDT’s view, the balance struck by the DMCA is working well, and new proposals for online copyright enforcement should be subject to rigorous cost-benefit analyses. In many cases, new proposals (such as the troubling DNS-blocking bill passed by the Senate Judiciary Committee last week) are likely to be of questionable long-term benefit, while coming at serious cost to online innovation and free expression. Policymakers need to be realistic about effectiveness and these collateral impacts when looking to address online copyright issues.

Eliminating copyright infringement completely is an impossible task. In the end, the best long-term solutions will be those that focus on consumer education and on making legitimate options widely available and more attractive than infringement.