Green Paper on Copyright Policy, Creativity, and Innovation in the Digital Economy

In July 2013, the Department of Commerce's Internet Policy Task Force (Task Force), led by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) and National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), issued a green paper on Copyright Policy, Creativity and Innovation in the Digital Economy (Green Paper). The Green Paper calls for new public input on critical policy issues that are central to our nation's economic growth, cultural development and job creation. It is intended to serve as a reference for stakeholders, a blueprint for further action, and as a contribution to global copyright debates.

Subsequent workstreams

The Green Paper identified five copyright policy issues critical to economic growth, job creation, and cultural development. In December 2013, the Task Force held a Public Meeting following a request for Public Comments on these topics:

  • the legal framework for the creation of remixes;
  • the relevance and scope of the first sale doctrine in the digital environment;
  • the appropriate calibration of statutory damages, in the contexts of individual file sharers and of secondary liability for large-scale online infringement;
  • improving the operation of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act’s (DMCA) notice and takedown system; and
  • how the government can facilitate the further development of a robust online licensing environment.

Roundtables: On the first three issues identified in the Green Paper—remixes, first sale, and statutory damages—the Department of Commerce hosted roundtables in four cities, following the 2013 Public Meeting and the Public Comments. In January 2016, the Task Force published its conclusions and recommendations in its White Paper on Remixes, First Sale, and Statutory Damages.

DMCA Multistakeholder Forum: On the issue of improving the operation of the DMCA notice and takedown system, following the 2013 Public Meeting and the Public Comments, the Task Force established a multistakeholder forum for consensus-building among stakeholders. The forum kicked off in March 2014 and a broad range of stakeholders participated, including right holders and individual creators, service providers of different sizes, and consumer and public interest representatives. A final Multistakeholder document on DMCA Notice-and-Takedown Processes: List of Good, Bad, and Situational Practices, was released in April 2015.

Facilitating the Development of the Online Marketplace: In addition to the 2013 Public Meeting and the Public Comments, the Task Force hosted a public meeting on April 1, 2015 to explore whether and how the government can facilitate the further development of the online licensing environment for copyrighted works,  focusing specifically on the development and use of standard identifiers for all types of works of authorship, interoperability among databases and systems used to identify owners of rights and terms of use, and a  possible portal for linking to such databases and to licensing platforms.