Technical Measures Consultations
The U.S. Copyright Office’s May 2020 report, Section 512 of Title 17, and its subsequent June 2020 letter, acknowledged the important role technologies and technical measures can play in addressing internet piracy. We noted that stakeholders had engaged in a range of voluntary collaborations and technical measures to supplement the enforcement framework, but that further discussion and collaboration would help ensure that these measures provide a reasonable, effective, and flexible approach for all involved. In a letter dated June 24, 2021, Senators Patrick Leahy and Thom Tillis requested that the Copyright Office “convene a representative working group of relevant stakeholders to achieve the identification and implementation of technical measures.”
On December 22, 2021, the Office issued a Federal Register notice announcing a series of consultations on technical measures used voluntarily to identify or protect copyrighted works. The Office held a public plenary session to launch these consultations on February 22, 2022, via Zoom. The closing plenary session was held on October 4, 2022, via Zoom. Recordings of both sessions are available under the consultations tab of the menu.
On December 20, 2022, the Copyright Office published a letter to Senators Leahy and Tillis outlining the outcomes from this year-long public consultation process. After reviewing the public comments and outcomes from the two plenary sessions and smaller consultation discussions, the Office found that stakeholders broadly agree that there is not a one-size-fits-all approach to voluntary technical measures. While points of contention remain, particularly concerning expectations about resources and access as well as the role of automation, these debates serve as important opportunities for further education and conversations.
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