The U.S. Copyright System is Essential to American Innovation

July 24, 2013

WASHINGTON (July 24, 2013) - In anticipation of Thursday's hearing, "Innovation in America: The Role of Copyrights," held by the House Judiciary Committee's Subcommittee on Courts, Intellectual Property and the Internet, Daniel Castro, Senior Analyst with the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation (ITIF) releases the following statement:

"The U.S. copyright system has been a fundamental pillar of our innovation-based economy, and Congress should be applauded for its efforts to better understand the value of copyrights and how to ensure the policy framework maximizes these benefits for consumers and creators alike. 

As Congress continues its review of current law and public benefits, it should also analyze how to protect the rights of copyright holders and incentivize the rule of law, especially from foreign nations who turn a blind eye to infringement. While recent enforcement efforts, such as Operation in Our Sites, have helped stop some of the worst offenders, online piracy still remains pervasive and costs the U.S. economy billions of dollars annually. Congress should continue to investigate policy options that encourage all players in the Internet ecosystem to be responsible partners in the fight against infringement and other forms of cybercrime.

In addition, Congress needs to recognize the special role that the copyright system plays in both spurring the creation of new knowledge and facilitating its dissemination. In an increasingly information-rich world where individuals produce and consume large amounts of data, a well-functioning copyright system will be increasingly important for unlocking the benefits of data. Members of Congress should continue to evaluate how best to align copyright policy with the realities of technology.

ITIF stands ready to work with Congress and others to ensure that the U.S. copyright system remains a key driver of economic growth, job creation, and creativity."

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The Information Technology and Innovation Foundation (ITIF) is a non-profit, non-partisan think tank whose mission is to formulate and promote public policies to advance technological innovation and productivity internationally, in Washington, and in the states. Recognizing the vital role of technology in ensuring prosperity, ITIF focuses on innovation, productivity, and digital economy issues. Learn more at www.itif.org.