The US Department of Commerce is seeking comment on the recently released Green Paper on Copyright Policy, Creativity, and Innovation in the Digital Economy. In response, the Library Copyright Alliance (LCA), of which ARL is a member, provided comments (PDF) on a number of issues raised in the Green Paper. LCA commented on issues relating to statutory damages, online licensing, collective rights organizations, and contractual restrictions on copyright exceptions.
In the comments, LCA noted:
As the Task Force examines online licensing, it should assess the adverse impact of the potential replacement of the public law of copyright with the private law of contract, both on libraries and the public at large. This assessment could very well lead to the conclusion that the government role in “improving the online licensing environment” is not to encourage the growth of the online licensing marketplace but to limit its possible excesses. This regulatory role is more appropriate for government than the direct or indirect subsidization of one particular business model. Accordingly, LCA strongly urges the Task Force to advise Congress to adopt restrictions on the enforcement of contractual terms that attempt to limit exceptions to the Copyright Act such as first sale or fair use. Likewise, the Task Force should recommend greater oversight of CROs.
The Association of Research Libraries (ARL) is a nonprofit organization of 125 research libraries in the US and Canada. Its mission is to influence the changing environment of scholarly communication and the public policies that affect research libraries and the diverse communities they serve. ARL pursues this mission by advancing the goals of its member research libraries, providing leadership in public and information policy to the scholarly and higher education communities, fostering the exchange of ideas and expertise, facilitating the emergence of new roles for research libraries, and shaping a future environment that leverages its interests with those of allied organizations. ARL is on the web at http://www.arl.org/.