When, Where, and How You Can Provide Input on Copyright and Innovation

Guest blog by Chief Policy Officer and Director for International Affairs Shira Perlmutter

***UPDATE October 11, 2013: The public meeting has been rescheduled to December 12, 2013 and there have been further clarifications issued regarding public comment deadlines. Read more in the USPTO press release.***

We are moving forward on our promise to solicit your input on copyright policy and innovation as outlined in the recent U.S. Department of Commerce Internet Policy Task Force (IPTF) green paper titled Copyright Policy, Creativity, and Innovation in the Digital Economy and on this blog. You may have learned from a USPTO press release or a Federal Register Notice from the USPTO and the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) of an IPTF public meeting that—barring a need to reschedule due to the current government shutdown—we’re holding on October 30th. We’d very much like to see you there.

As explained in the Federal Register Notice, we are particularly seeking comments on five specific topics raised in the green paper: (1) establishing a multistakeholder dialogue on improving the operation of the notice and takedown system for removing infringing content from the Internet under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA); (2) the legal framework for the creation of remixes; (3) the relevance and scope of the first sale doctrine in the digital environment; (4) the application of statutory damages in the contexts of individual file sharers and of secondary liability for large-scale infringement; and (5) the appropriate role for the government, if any, to help improve the online licensing environment, including access to comprehensive databases of rights information.

Some questions have been raised about the relationship of the two separate dates for comment submission provided in our Federal Register Notice. We invited early comments to be filed by October 15, 2013, in order to allow them to be read prior to the October 30th public meeting and to inform the discussion there. But this was not a deadline either for submissions or for enabling participation in the meeting. Anyone can still participate in the meeting even if they don’t submit comments by October 15th. The actual deadline for comment submission is two weeks after the meeting, on November 13th.

I also want to assure you that there will be ample opportunity for public participation and comment beyond those dates. We plan to engage in a robust conversation about these important digital copyright issues, and we recognize that many interested parties will have a lot to say. The October 30th meeting is intended as an initial exploration of the issues, and will be structured around moderated panel discussions on each of the five topics identified in the Federal Register Notice. We are currently developing an agenda and inviting speakers who will represent a wide range of views.

Our hope is that the October 30th meeting will provide a meaningful and informative discussion on these topics and serve as a launching pad for the next phase of our public engagement. We anticipate there will be further roundtables and other opportunities for input on each of the individual topics going forward.

Pre-registration for the conference is available online. More information about the green paper is available at http://www.uspto.gov/ip/global/copyrights/index.jsp.

Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have further questions. You can contact Hollis Robinson or Ben Golant in the Office of Policy and International Affairs at (571) 272-9300, or [email protected] or [email protected]. For further information regarding the public comments, please contact Garrett Levin or Ben Golant at (571) 272-9300, or [email protected] or [email protected].

We look forward to receiving your comments and seeing you at the conference on October 30th.