I joined with over seventy international copyright law experts today in calling for NAFTA and other trade negotiators to support a set of balanced copyright principles.
Policies like fair use, online safe harbors, and other exceptions and limitations to copyright permit and encourage access to knowledge, flourishing creativity, and innovation.
The following copyright principles are essential to ensure consumers’ digital rights. Copyright law should:
- Protect and promote copyright balance, including fair use
- Provide technology-enabling exceptions, such as for search engines and text- and data-mining
- Include safe harbor provisions to protect online platforms from users’ infringement
- Ensure legitimate exceptions for anti-circumvention, such as documentary filmmaking, cybersecurity research, and allowing assistive reading technologies for the blind
- Adhere to existing multilateral commitments on copyright term
- Guarantee proportionality and due process in copyright enforcement
Measuring the value of copyright and the value of copyright exceptions is methodologically challenging, but if we use the same criteria that WIPO adopts to estimate the value of copyright, then in the U.S., fair use industries represent 16% of annual GDP and employ 18 million American workers.
The Washington Principles on Copyright Balance in Trade Agreements and the new research on Measuring the Impact of Copyright Balance are located at http://infojustice.org/flexible-use