Technical measures against piracy: US Copyright Office opens public comment period

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On April 27, US Copyright Office opened a comment period, with comments due no later than midnight, Eastern time, on May 27, 2022, to collect public input about the identification and implementation of Standardized Technical Measures (STMs) to detect and address online copyright infringement; as part of the effort to modernize the Digital Milliennium Copyright Act.

A 2020 report by the US Copyright Office  looked at the safe harbor framework for distribution of copyrighted works, which limits a ISP’s liability for infringement if it meets ‘certain conditions;’ one of which being that the ISP “accommodates and does not interfere with standard technical measures” (or, STMs).

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In turn, this triggered discussions in 2020 of what a legal foundation for STMs might consist of, examination of technologies and their potential as STMs, and how they might be developed. Those discussions prompted this comment period, and a report of recommendations is expected later in the year.

For further exploration:

  • Notice of Inquiry Page including comments received (Via, Document ID COLC_FRDOC_0001-0190)
  • Submit a comment (US Copyright Office)
  • Read the US Copyright Office notice in the US Federal Register (April 27, 2022)
  • Instructions for submitting comments.

    Why it matters

    The DMCA is in the process of being revised for the first time since 1998, to add a generation’s worth of societal and technological change.  It is hoped that US government policy does not mandate technological solutions to a level of detail that subjects it to becoming outdated quickly.

    US Senators Leahy and Tillis recently introduced Senate Bill 3880, the SMART Copyright Act of 2022, which is intended to put a process in place to promote consensus-based technical countermeasures against copyright infringement that are widely available and can be implemented by any service provider.

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