Tag Archives: re:create

Re:create Coalition Opposes Creation of Copyright Office as an Independent Agency

On September 30, 2015, the Re:Create Coalition released a letter supporting modernization of the Copyright Office while opposing the establishment of the Copyright Office as an independent agency (as suggested in a discussion draft bill by Representatives Chu (D-CA) and Marino (R-PA)).  It points out that while some have claimed that consensus exists to make the Copyright Office an independent agency, no such consensus exists.

The letter notes that while modernization is needed, creating an independent Copyright Office will not solve the information technology challenges the office faces.  Additionally, the letter states:

In this digital age, we agree there is a clear need to upgrade and modernize the Copyright Office and view the upcoming appointment of a new Librarian of Congress for the first time in three decades as an opportunity for just such potentially transformative change. We believe that reforms both to improve the process of registering copyrights and to improve the transparency and accessibility of this information to the public are crucial. Additionally, while Re:Create members have diverse views as to the appropriate home for the Copyright Office, we are united in our belief that the case has not been made for transforming the Copyright Office into an independent agency.

The letter also calls for the Copyright Office to be more responsive to the public, pointing out that:

A thoroughly modern Copyright Office will be one able to carefully weigh the interests of rights-holders, the rapidly evolving creative market, and the greater public of information users and consumers (often creators themselves), with an eye toward finding the appropriate balance to foster more, rather than less, speech. For example, in the context of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) rulemaking, a more thorough and balanced assessment of the public’s reliance on exemptions for cell phone unlocking or access to works for the blind and print-disabled could have altered the Office’s ultimately countermanded recommendations to eliminate those exemptions. In the case of cell phone unlocking, a fuller consideration of the needs of the public during the rulemaking process may even have prevented the need for Congress to step in to protect consumers’ ability to use the devices they own on the  network of their choice.

ARL Joins New Re:Create Coalition to Promote Balanced Copyright

*Cross-posted from ARL News*

Today, April 28, 2015, ARL joined US technology companies, trade associations, and civil society organizations in the launch of Re:Create, a coalition that promotes balanced copyright policy. A balanced copyright system depends on limitations and exceptions, such as fair use. As technology advances, it is imperative that the copyright law is responsive to these changes, balancing the interests of creators of copyrighted information and products with the interests of users of those products.

Re:Create promotes and defends the important balance of copyright. ARL’s member institutions, as well as the general public, depend on balanced copyright that includes robust limitations and exceptions. A balanced system ensures that copyright does not limit or impede new and valuable technologies and uses.

Fair use is responsive to the quickly evolving technology and has been called the “safety valve” of US copyright law. Fair use also accommodates the First Amendment right to freedom of expression, ensuring that copyright does not prevent freedom of speech. As ARL has shown in an infographic (PDF), fair use is a right, vitally important, for everyone and everywhere. This important doctrine is vital to the economy, innovation, new creativity, learning and education.

Deborah Jakubs, president of ARL said, “The mission of Re:Create squarely comports with the Constitutional rationale for copyright: ‘to promote the progress of science and useful arts.’ ARL is proud to be a member of this coalition, which will work to ensure that copyright law supports this rationale and ensure that the copyright system provides an appropriate balance.”

The Re:Create Coalition launched with the following members: American Library Association, Association of Research Libraries, Center for Democracy & Technology, Computer & Communications Industry Association, Consumer Electronics Association, Electronic Frontier Foundation, Media Democracy Fund, New America’s Open Technology Institute, Public Knowledge, and R Street Institute.

For more information, visit http://www.recreatecoalition.com/.