Commerce.gov is getting a facelift soon. See the new design.

Commerce Seeks Comment on Protecting Copyrighted Works on the Internet

Printer-friendly version

The U.S. Commerce Department’s Internet Policy Task Force today issued a Notice of Inquiry (NOI) seeking comment from all interested stakeholders on the protection of copyrighted works online and the relationship between copyright law and innovation in the Internet economy. 

Considering the vital importance of the Internet in today’s society, the Department of Commerce has made it a top priority to ensure that the Internet remains open for innovation.  The initiative on Copyright Policy, Creativity and Innovation in the Internet economy seeks to identify policies that will: 

  1. Generate benefits for rights holders of creative works accessible online and make recommendations with respect to those who infringe on those rights;
  2. Enable the robust and free flow of information to facilitate innovation and growth of the Internet economy; and
  3. Ensure transparency and due process in cooperative efforts to build confidence in the Internet as a means of distributing copyrighted works.

The comments gathered through this NOI will be used by the Internet Policy Task Force in preparing a report that will contribute to the administration’s domestic policy and international engagement in the area of online copyright protection.

Interested parties are encouraged to submit comments by e-mail to copyright-noi-2010[at]ntia.doc[dot]gov.  Comments filed in response to this NOI will be made available to the public on the Internet Policy Task Force website at http://www.ntia.doc.gov/internetpolicytaskforce

For more details on the NOI, visit: http://edocket.access.gpo.gov/2010/pdf/2010-24863.pdf

Full release

The U.S. Commerce Department’s Internet Policy Task Force today issued a Notice of Inquiry (NOI) seeking comment from all interested stakeholders on the protection of copyrighted works online and the relationship between copyright law and innovation in the Internet economy.  

 

Considering the vital importance of the Internet in today’s society, the Department of Commerce has made it a top priority to ensure that the Internet remains open for innovation.  The initiative on Copyright Policy, Creativity and Innovation in the Internet economy seeks to identify policies that will: 

 

1)      Generate benefits for rights holders of creative works accessible online and make recommendations with respect to those who infringe on those rights;

 

2)      Enable the robust and free flow of information to facilitate innovation and growth of the Internet economy; and

 

3)      Ensure transparency and due process in cooperative efforts to build confidence in the Internet as a means of distributing copyrighted works.

 

The comments gathered through this NOI will be used by the Internet Policy Task Force in preparing a report that will contribute to the administration’s domestic policy and international engagement in the area of online copyright protection.

 

Interested parties are encouraged to submit comments by e-mail to copyright-noi-2010[at]ntia.doc[dot]gov.  Comments filed in response to this NOI will be made available to the public on the Internet Policy Task Force website at http://www.ntia.doc.gov/internetpolicytaskforce

 

For more details on the NOI, visit: http://edocket.access.gpo.gov/2010/pdf/2010-24863.pdf.  

 

[Release link]

Comments Closed

Due to increased spam, comments have been closed on this content. If you wish to comment about the content, we encourage you to email webmaster@doc.gov.

Copyright

Copyright seems long due for an overhaul, but it seems that the lawmakers are overhauling it in the wrong direction. I believe copyright is broken. While protecting creative works still makes sense, the incredible length of copyright, potentially stretching out for more than a century, is detrimental to the country's creative output, serving only to enrich the already rich. Ask any new artist if they are creating so that no one else can build on top of their work. Ask them if they themselves have not borrowed. The answer is always that we build on each other's creativity.

Copyright is still valuable to the nation, but not when the structure of the laws works to benefit legacy works and not future works. While certainly the two are intertwined, they are not the same. Simplify, reduce, and make flexible copyright.

Copyright is broken

Easy to say, I supposed, if your income isn't tied directly to your copyrights, but what if it is, as is mine? What if you're college educated, award-winning and best-selling and still qualify for food stamps? In part due to book after book of yours appearing as a digital download for $1.99 on some Indonesian (Russian, American, Jamaican) pirate's web site? A portion of which, you'll never see?

Don't get me wrong. I believe in free enterprise, perhaps even limiting copyright to two generations, but these thieves have no right to make their livings off MY back. Absolutely none.

Copyright, Trademark and Patent Abuses are Destroying Innovation

The widespread abuse and extension of Copyright, trademark and patent law is destroying innovation in this country while the IP lawyers pay politicians to strip away the last vestiges of fair use. Our country's founders intended these limited monopolies in order to spur innovation and knowledge sharing, NOT to provide welfare funds for life. If IP laws of today were in place 50 years ago our technological advantages would never have happened here.

Fair Use

"Fair Use" applies to works in print. It does not apply to electronic products where e-books etc are "shared" in their entirity.

Too few pirates have taken the time to read the DMCA. Also fascinating is the 9th Circuit Court ruling with respect to the talented musician Eminem, which ruling appears to suggest that ebooks and music are never "sold" but are licensed.

If an ebook is "licensed", first "SALE" doctrine and "Fair Use" should not apply.

The earnings from a novel are not "welfare funds". Taxpayers do not contribute willy nilly. Those who pay for an author's retirement do so voluntarily and willingly by virtue of their modest purchase.

Authors who write well and prolifically, are well rewarded. Those who do not, are not well remunerated. Is that "free market" or what?

Abolish copyright

Copyright's only purpose is to protect outdated business models. It is merely a restriction of free speech on behalf of the profits of rights holders.

Copyright's effect on free speech

Copyright protects and incentivizes free speech by those who have something original to impart.

It is hardly "free speech" when a pirate takes a work that he has not written, does not "own" and has no right to copy/distribute, and "shares" it, thus interfering with the true creator's right to earn a living from the honest sale of the work.

Copyright

The LIMIT of the copyright should be 5 years, renewable for another 3 years (TOTAL not more than 8 years). It should be limited to REAL tangible goods. Pharmacy (drugs) should be excluded in order to reduce the price, and not provide pharmaceutical companies with a monopoly. This would be to promote competition, and reduce the number of BOGUS law suites by companies that did not create anything.

Limiting copyright

I know many authors who spent ten or more years crafting, polishing, editing, and re-editing a single novel as they try to sell it. Once they are offered publication, it may take another two years before the novel is available for sale, and another year or more before royalties are paid to the author.

As the law currently stands, an author is protected from the moment she writes her novel. If copyright were limited to 5 years, or even 8 years, a novel could be out of copyright before an author saw a cent.

Authors and other creators do not work for the government or for a generous corporation. There is no 401K, no pension, no matching contributions, and for younger authors, there is no guarantee that Social Security will be there when they need it.

If there is no long term copyright protection, an author or an artist faces destitution and the tax payer will be unnecessarily burdened because of the entitlement mentality of today's pirates who wish to read fiction without paying for it, whereas they would pay without question for any other form of gratification.

Limiting Copyright abuse

How hard someone works or how long they work to create a work of art is irrelevant. The greatest authors throughout history had no copyright protection, yet they worked hard and produced works that transcend time.

Copyright is abuse by the greed of companies, and from family members of deceased authors trying to perpetuate a revenue source.

It may be reasonable to provide extended copyright protection, but is should expire with the original author's (or creator's) death. Copyright should never be extended to a company or estate for more than seven years beyond the death of the original creator.

Copyright vs. Patent

What you're talking about is patent, not copyright. Patent does apply to tangible goods. Copyright is about written words - song lyrics, novels, articles, poems, etc.

Debra Moore
www.readmoore.com

Thank you for your input

Thank you for your input everyone. Comments here are only unofficial. Please make sure to submit your comments through the official channels by e-mail to copyright-noi-2010[at]ntia.doc[dot]gov.

Comments filed in response to this NOI will be made available to the public on the Internet Policy Task Force website at http://www.ntia.doc.gov/category/internet-policy-task-force?type=All&fie....

For more details on the NOI, visit: http://edocket.access.gpo.gov/2010/pdf/2010-24863.pdf.

Copyright

Being an author I consider the copyright law to be necessary. Having had my stories stolen by those who think anything on the internet should be free, I feel the law should be enforced.

Copyright

I'm an author, and I work hard and long on my stories. Why do people think they should be able to steal material just because it's on the Net? Would these same people walk into a store and walk out with a book or magazine?

My rights to create should be protected. The work I create belongs to me!

Copyright

You are right about this, but the problem is very old . A very big part of the internet is built on stealing and borrowing text and images from others. But even though there are millions and millions of webpages, it really isn't that hard to detect. Search engines like Google already have the capabilities to detect similar text and articles, they call it "duplicate content". Perhaps a way forward is to engage in a coorporation which the search engines, which could enable the government to enforce the laws on copyright.
Its fairly eay to check if other websites are copying your text, you can use the tool at: http://www.copyscape.com

Copyright

I'm a writer. Please protect us.

Copyright protection

I believe in freedom of information, but since when has creative entertainment become free "information" vital to the world? Works of fiction may be informative, but they are first and foremost entertainment. As an author I work damned hard to create my works and get paid very little for the effort. It pisses me off that someone can grab it off the internet then turn around and sell it without compensating me or my publisher. Protect the rights of the creator or pretty soon people will have to read the back of cereal boxes for their entertainment.

I agree that you should be

I agree that you should be compensated for your work, however, copyright is intended "To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries." Copyright should be limited, probably to no more than 25 years for an individual author.

However, you are confusing copyright with a potential loss of sale. The first is an incentive for you to make your works available to the public, the second issue has nothing to do with copyright.

Extending copyright into the realm of criminality is ill advised, at best. In my private moments, I use a much more pejorative term than "ill advised."

A balanced approach

I don't need my copyright to last long after my death. My heirs can make their own living. But whilst I'm alive, I'd like to be able to make money from work that people want to read badly enough that they'd steal it. Please do protect authors like me against piracy.

Copyright

Every time someone downloads pirated copies of my books, that's hard-earned money out of my pocket. Sure, it might be "only a dollar or two", but multiply that by tens of thousands, and that's a house payment, a grocery bill, my kids' clothing, getting my car fixed - in other words, vital expenses that my creative sweat should have been able to cover. If my work hadn't been stolen, that is.

People seem to think that all published authors are rich, and sit around eating bon bons and drinking champagne. Nothing could be farther from the truth. Unless the author's name is JK Rowling, Stephen King or Nora Roberts, the remaining 99 percent of us need day jobs.

We should be able to make a fair amount of money for our work, period. Would you refuse to pay a mechanic for fixing your car? Walk out of a store with a cart full of groceries without paying? Walk into a theater and demand your non-existent "right" to see a movie without buying a ticket? Expect to walk out of a Barnes & Noble without paying for your book? Of course you wouldn't. Allow writers to receive a fair price for their work!

There is a big problem

I have had my work stolen only once, but I have had it reprinted in full without my permission multiple times. A few people have turned very nasty when asked to take it down. One "respected" publication printed something of mine without my permission. Plagiarism is such an odious act that those in charge of online venues will usually act quickly when it is reported. The use of material without permission, however, is a serious problem.

For those who think that copyright is a sham and not needed, please give me your address so I can go to your house and take your belongings.

Copyright

I'm a writer. I don't want my books stolen. Would Barns and Nobles or Boarders allow people to walk in and steal a book, hell no.

They'd call the cops.

My right as a ebook writer should be upheld as much as any writer who writes print books.

Janice~

Copyright

It took me twenty years of submissions, rejections and learning my craft to find success as a published author. My husband and I live on my income--or we have been. Piracy is taking away my ability to support us with my writing. As an author, I work seven days a week to meet my deadlines, and it's beyond discouraging to see my books appear on pirate sites often even BEFORE their official release date. Something has to be done--when I can go to a pirate site and see where almost 10,000 copies of my latest book have been illegally downloaded it makes me absolutely ill, especially when I can compare those downloads to my falling sales. Somehow this has got to be stopped.

Kate

Copyright laws

Anyone who thinks that a writer should give away his/her e-book rights obviously has never written anything. I believe that the copyright laws for printed books should stand for e-books too. I believe that the penalty for theft should be full restitution and a hefty fine. Same goes for online articles.

Back to basics

Most of the controversies regarding length and ownership of copyright derive from two errors in thought. First, a corporation is legally a person. Second, copyright is transferable property.

However, if we go back to the principle in the Constitution, the purpose of copyright is, according to Article 1 Section 8, "To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries."

A corporation is not an Author. A person is. A person eventually dies, whereas a corporation can theoretically survive forever. Further, a corporation's exercising its "exclusive Right" does nothing to "promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts"; it serves only to enrich stockholders.

So if we can move the copyright law back in the direction of protecting the right of the creator of the work, rather than the corporation that strong-arms the right away from the creator, we can eliminate the rationale of the self-justifying pirates and rediscover the true purpose of copyright.

copyright law

thanks for providing such information about copy right law

Internet piracy of my books

Here are just a few examples of sites that allow downloads of my books for free. In other words, piracy.

Piracy sites of my story Rearing Heat
http://ebookpedia.net/Rearing-Heat-by-Skylar-Sinclair.html
http://www.plunder.com/SklrSnclr-RrngHt-lit-download-60fd8deab3.htm

Piracy of all my books at this site
http://astatalk.com/release/user/id/175824/p/1/

With each download, I and my publishers are cheated out the profits. Where are my rights as the author of these stolen books? The rights of the publisher that has worked hard to get these books ready for the public?

There needs to be stiff penalties for piracy. Please, hear our cries of injustice. Help we, the authors, protect our rights. Our books that we so lovingly craft.

The fact that our work is

The fact that our work is published online shouldn't allow for people to steal it. Yes, it's only $1.99 or $3.99, but when you take that for the 359 downloads my latest stolen work got on a pirate site, you can see why I need a day job.

Why is my work less 'real' or 'important'? Because my books aren't in print? That shouldn't matter. It's still my creative work, and the fact that it's in a .pdf format shouldn't automatically mean it's up for grabs -- for free.

Sophia

RIAA/MPAA cashcow protection act, obviously: _against_ citizens.

"Copyright protects and incentivizes free speech by those who have something original to impart."

No. It protects the cash cow of RIAA/MPAA. That's the _major_ function.

"It is hardly "free speech" when a pirate takes a work that he has not written"

Like record company?

", does not "own" "

Like record company?

"and has no right to copy/distribute, and "shares" it"

_Shares_, no money changes hands. Record company _sells_ it, they actually make huge profits for _stealing and selling other people's work_. Those, who did the work, is paid peanuts or nothing.

Now, who's the thief?

", thus interfering with the true creator's right to earn a living from the honest sale of the work."

Like record company?

Creator doesn't own his works, ever. Record company owns. Now, tell us how creator earns a living with something he don't own?

RIAA/MPAA don't only steal the profits, they steal "artists" work in its entirety. That's something no pirate can ever do, but record companies do for living.

There's a difference for you and some realism what the copyright legislation is for, in reality: Its major function is guarantee that RIAA/MPAA can continue the bribery of Congress with billions of profits they are making. This "task force" will be no exception: Billions of dollars against citizens means that citizens lose. Always.

Tell me why distributors generate 10 more profits than the "artists" combined who are working for them?

$18 CD pays less than dollar to artist, less than dollar to making the CD, about dollar to transport it and rest is profit for record company, about 80%.

That should tell you whose profits copyright laws are for. The artist is not in top-10 even.