CCIA, 31 Other Organizations, Scholars Ask Congress To Oppose Controversial Copyright Proposal, Tech Mandates

BY Heather Greenfield
March 29, 2022

Washington – The Computer & Communications Industry Association, along with 31 other civil society groups, academics, associations, and companies sent a letter expressing their concerns about legislation that would put the government in charge of creating technical standards and undermine the balance in current law that protects both copyright and innovation, known as the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). 

The Strengthening Measures to Advance Rights Technologies (SMART) Copyright Act of 2022, S. 3880, would give the Copyright Office the ability to set technical standards for digital products and tools that companies use to reduce copyright infringement and then open companies to an onslaught of additional lawsuits over claims of copyright infringement.

The letter to Senate Judiciary IP Subcommittee Chairman Patrick Leahy and Ranking Member Thom Tillis, who introduced the bill, says that, “The legislation thus is not only unnecessary, but would freeze these efforts and stifle the ability of online services to get ahead of emerging challenges — locking collaboration into a triennial regulatory cycle and discouraging the private sector from making critical investments outside of these cycles.”  

The following can be attributed to CCIA Vice President, Public Policy Arthur Sidney:

“Companies are constantly innovating to respond to infringement online. Rather than encouraging innovation, this legislation puts the government in charge of designing content protection technology, which would hurt the work all stakeholders are already undertaking together to reduce infringement, and opens businesses up to more costly lawsuits. Potential technical mandates like filtering obligations would also threaten user-generated content and expression online.”

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