We Need Robust Copyright Laws Now More Than Ever

The amendment to the US copyright law titled the “Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998” is credited for bringing intellectual property and copyright issues to the fore. The primary purpose of the amendment is to balance the needs of creators with those of the consumers and related business owners.

Contrary to popular controversy and myth, the law enjoys significant support from the corporate world as well as the entertainment industry. This includes authors, artists, business owners, corporate executives as well as lawmakers and enforcement agencies. This includes the broadcast, recording, motion pictures, publishing industry, and intellectual property organizations.

Vocal opponents to the amendment include the Electronic Frontier Foundation, numerous technology, and media companies under the umbrella of the Consumer Electronics Association, CEA, various education and research groups, libraries, and digital media consumer associations. The opponents are allocating big budgets directly and through lobby forums and umbrella organizations such as the CEA. They argue stricter copyright laws are hurting creativity, innovation, and American businesses.

Benefits of Stronger Copyright Law

Proponents, on the other hand, believe stronger laws deliver just that; increased creativity and trade. The law has also stoked heated debate revolving around the business models in the entertainment industry. The divide seems to pit creators and authors on the one side with technology providers taking the opposite end. The truth is that a healthy working relationship between the two is more profitable than any single side.

The current copyright law is stronger than ever before. It aims to streamline copyright issues in the face of digital and emerging technologies. The courts and law enforcement systems have a precedence of supporting the entertainment industry and copyright owners. With the advent of the global online village and emergent technologies, stronger copyright laws have become more important than before.

Inventions demand massive amounts of investments in time, energy and finances. Technology makes it easier to create impactful creations at a fraction of the cost. Many startups with great innovations are left at the mercy of their big-money competitors. This has been argued to kill innovation and the growth of new businesses.

The Future of Innovation

Getting rid of the patent and copyrights systems has been proven to have detrimental effects on the economic development of the industry and creativity. In the same manner, suggestions to adopt “sampling” as a business model in the media industry have failed to take off.

Stronger copyright laws reduce disputes arising from flawed patents. Updates and amendments to the existing law remain the best option for both the industry players and consumers. Creative content frameworks must align themselves with the needs of the industry. They must also protect the innovation space and promote creativity.

However, there is ample room for change. The Copyright Office frequently updates the list of exceptions to the law. Researchers, librarians and mobile device users have welcomed some of the significant exceptions to the law affected in 2006. Strong copyright law encourages innovation. It empowers creators with a source of living. It protects startups and their innovations, which are critical to the success of their business models.