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July 01, 2010

CONTACT: Peter Pappas or Jennifer Rankin Byrne

(571) 272-8400 or peter.pappas1@uspto.gov;

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Press Release, 10-31

U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke Headlines Copyright Policy Symposium

Public and Private Sector Leaders Meet to Discuss Copyright in the Internet Economy

Notice of Inquiry to be Issued this Month Seeking Public Comments on the Effectiveness of Copyright Law

 Washington – Today, U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke gathered with leaders from the public and private sectors to discuss the relationship between copyright policy, creativity and innovation in the Internet economy as part of a symposium co-hosted by the Commerce Department’s United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) and the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center.

The day-long symposium included discussion of online copyright policy in the United States, specifically the impact of current copyright laws, existing and emerging techniques used to illegally distribute and obtain protected works, the extent and economic impact of infringement, and the role of emerging business models for legitimate distribution of content. During the symposium, it was announced that the Department of Commerce will issue a Notice of Inquiry (NOI) this month seeking public comment on the effectiveness of copyright law, and ultimately will issue a report which will contribute to the Administration’s domestic policy and international engagement in the area of online copyright protection.

“The United States simply must get back to cultivating industries and lines of scientific discovery that provide long-term benefits to society and spur sustainable innovation,” said Secretary Locke. “We have to find the sweet spot on Internet policy—one that ensures the Internet remains an engine of creativity and innovation, and a place that discourages piracy of copyrighted works.”

In addition to Secretary Locke, featured speakers included U.S. Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator Victoria Espinel, Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the USPTO David Kappos, Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Communications and Information Lawrence E. Strickling and other senior Obama Administration officials. The conference also included five panel discussions with participants representing the views of different stakeholders.

The Department of Commerce has assembled an Internet Policy Task Force whose mission is to identify leading public policy and operational challenges in the Internet environment. Recognizing the vital importance of both intellectual property rights and the Internet to U.S. creativity and innovation, the Department has made it a top priority to ensure that both remain a vehicle for these important purposes. 

This effort is to that end. The Task Force is conducting similar reviews of cybersecurity, the global free flow of information goods and services, and information privacy.

Additional information on the symposium is available on the Internet Policy Task Force website at www.ntia.doc.gov/internetpolicytaskforce and the USPTO’s website at www.uspto.gov. An archived version of the webcast will be available for viewing in the near future.

 

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