Public Knowledge Proposes Model for Copyright Reform

The five points that Public Knowledge aims to address are consistent with Cory Doctorow’s recent suggestions for a folk copyright.

1) strengthen fair use, including reforming outrageously high statutory damages, which deter innovation and creativity; 2) reform the DMCA to permit circumvention of digital locks for lawful purposes; 3) update the limitations and exceptions to copyright protection to better conform with how digital technologies work; 4) provide recourse for people and companies who are recklessly accused of copyright infringement and who are recklessly sent improper DMCA take-down notices; and 5) streamline arcane music licensing laws to encourage new and better business models for selling music.

There is a lot of room in that third point and in a way it touches on many of the other points. Much of the current imbalance is a direct consequence of new rights being granted under law and through case rulings without adequate consideration to limitations.

The PK posting also has links to further research and supporting material, at this point mostly around the strengthening of fair use. The implication is they will be working to flesh out the other points in a similar fashion. PK is collaborating with the Stanford Cyberlaw Clinic and Samuelson Clinic at UC Berkeley’s law school. I look forward to the rest of the work as it unfolds.

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