January 29, 2008 | By Fred von Lohmann

Update on Pro-IP Act: DC Roundtable on Statutory Damages

Sherwin Siy, staff attorney with Public Knowledge, has posted an insightful first-person account of a recent "roundtable" held by the U.S. Copyright Office about the increase in statutory damages proposed in Section 104 of the recently-introduced PRO-IP Act.

As we reported when the measure came out, there is precious little reason to think that copyright's statutory damages regime is too lenient (with individuals being held liable for $220,000 for sharing 24 songs, the evidence indicates the opposite). Having convened an all-day roundtable of "stakeholders," it sounds like the Copyright Office may be coming to the same conclusion:

So the RIAA wants larger litigation recoveries. But is there a real need for that? That’s the question that we’ve been asking ourselves, and it’s the question that [Copyright Office lawyer] David Carson put to the content companies that support the provision: “To proponents of this amendment: have there been any cases, since 1976, where plaintiffs have been inadequately compensated because of the operation of this rule?” And there really wasn’t much of a response. There are cases they think went the wrong way, sure, but they just didn’t have any examples of a situation where the operation of the current law resulted in an unjustly low statutory damages award.

Read Sherwin's entire account for a vivid portrait of how copyright policy gets made in Washington.


Deeplinks Topics

Stay in Touch

NSA Spying

EFF is leading the fight against the NSA's illegal mass surveillance program. Learn more about what the program is, how it works, and what you can do.

Follow EFF

The clock is ticking on Section 215 sunset, but the Senate is in stalemate on NSA spying powers: https://eff.org/r.tpwa

May 22 @ 10:58pm

BREAKING: At the behest of @SenateMajLdr, the Senate will meet Sunday, May 31st in the afternoon, mere hours before Section 215 expires.

May 22 @ 10:20pm

BREAKING: Senator Rand Paul objecting to even one more day of extending Section 215.

May 22 @ 10:08pm
JavaScript license information