CCIA supports robust and balanced copyright protection. While copyright protection promotes creativity by rewarding authors, musicians and developers, over-protection can discourage innovation and threaten competition. CCIA agrees with the Obama Administration’s 2012 statement of policy that “any effort to combat online piracy must guard against the risk of online censorship of lawful activity and must not inhibit innovation by our dynamic businesses large and small”. Protecting copyright does not mean protecting business models, nor should it threaten computer security, obstruct interoperability or undermine competition – particularly in industries entirely unrelated to piracy.
Modernizing copyright law will facilitate innovation and the growth of the Internet economy. Specifically, U.S. copyright law can be reformed to ensure more rational damages by harmonizing our copyright system with other areas of the law, where damages are proportional to the injury sustained. Copyright reform can ensure the law does not discriminate against new industries in favor of legacy industries, as in the case of Internet radio. It is also necessary to reestablish the inviolability of the first sale doctrine. First sale, one of the basic principles of copyright law, provides that the owner of a copy of a work may sell, rent, or otherwise dispose of that copy without infringing the copyright holder’s distribution right, but this principle is now under attack.
U.S. policymakers must also ensure that the policy norms which we export in our international and trade policy reflect these goals to ensure that as U.S. businesses enter markets abroad they are not subjected to liability for products, services, and content that are lawful in the United States.