WASHINGTON — It appears that fair use and copyright protection fans both found something to like in the Office of the U.S. Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator's three-year strategic plan for 2017-2019, released this week.
The office is charged by Congress with protecting intellectual property as well as the rights of citizens, as well as with putting out three year plans on how to do that, which are submitted to the House and Senate Judiciary and Appropriations Committees.
Sen, Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa.), chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, said he looked forward to reading the 160-plus-page report.
The plan is focused on large-scale infringement and piracy, rather than all instances where there might be infringement. "[D]iscussions around 'piracy' in the digital environment are focused on large-scale illicit business models that have been designed to intentionally and unlawfully infringe third-party copyrighted content," the report said, citing TV shows, movies, music books and other creative works.
Grassley said: “Protecting intellectual property is critical to growing the economy, creating jobs and advancing innovation. It requires vigilant enforcement of the laws, consumer education and international cooperation. I look forward to reading the latest Joint Strategic Plan and seeing how we can support intellectual property rights and work to address the challenges we face now and in the future.”
The Re-Create Coalition, an advocacy group for fair-use rules, was also optimistic about the report.
“We are pleased IPEC’s Joint Strategic Plan recognizes the important role of fair use and a balanced copyright system. We agree that the United States ‘must work to foster creativity, understanding the role of exceptions and limitations as not only part of our body of laws, but as an important part of our culture, ’ " Joshua Lamel, executive director of the Re-Create Coalition, said in a statement. "IPEC rightfully proposes that attempts to prevent infringement should not restrict lawful uses of content.”
Re-Create coalition members include Public Knowledge and the American Library Association, familiar names in the fair use vs. copyright tug-of-war.
The Copyright Alliance was also pleased with the report, putting its emphasis on the portions that highlighted the value of copyrighted works to the economy.
"The report, which represents a joint effort by twelve federal agencies and was spearheaded by IPEC, emphasizes the tremendous value that U.S. intellectual property plays in our economy and trade and the importance of protecting American ingenuity and creativity, while also delineating the numerous threats and harms to intellectual property being caused by commercial piracy and other intellectual property violations," Alliance CEO Keith Kupferschmid said.
Kupferschmid applauded the report’s focus "not only on the most egregious IP offenders, but also its highlighting of the need for stronger corporate leadership from legitimate online platforms and services to share in the responsibility of protecting America’s valuable intellectual property."