CCIA Defends Copyright Balance and Online Platforms In Filing, Legal Brief

BY Heather Greenfield
February 21, 2017

Washington — In a filing for the Copyright Office and in a legal brief, the Computer & Communications Industry Association defended the balanced copyright provisions online companies need to operate platforms for communications and commerce.

The Copyright Office is considering Section 512 of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) — one of the Internet’s legal cornerstones, which offers technology companies liability protections so long as they quickly take down content in response to reports of copyright infringement.

In its comments, CCIA told the Copyright Office that thousands of companies depend on the certainty provided by the DMCA safe harbors and that this certainty is one reason why investment and tech startups have thrived. CCIA said the existing law should be sufficient to combat cases where some fraudulently make copyright allegations to remove online content. It warned though that some of the so-called “stay-down” proposals are either not feasible or likely to lead to the suppression of content making lawful use of copyrighted material.

Separately, in an amicus brief filed in a federal appeals court in New York today, CCIA defended the online social commerce platform Polyvore from unfounded charges of copyright infringement. The brief argued that the plaintiff, who disregarded established protections and legal procedures in filing its complaint, should have been penalized by the trial court for filing an unmeritorious lawsuit.

CCIA had previously filed comments on the DMCA safe harbors with the Copyright Office, and participated in the Office’s roundtables on the DMCA.

The following can be attributed to CCIA Vice President Matt Schruers:

“Congress enacted the DMCA to foster cooperation and allow rightholders to quickly file takedown notices with service providers — rather than lawsuits. The DMCA is a crucial tool to the Internet ecosystem that should be respected. Properly applied, current U.S. copyright law provides online services and rightsholders protection from bad actors, and gives ample incentive for innovation and creativity alike.”


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