Make copyright great again
With President Trump recently installed in the White House, will the internet industry be able to convince him to look at copyright?

Donald Trump, as the new US president, has an enormous task ahead of him.

It’s largely unclear how he will tackle Wall Street while simultaneously dismantling post-financial crisis financial services regulation, nor is it obvious what will replace the soon-to-be-repealed Affordable Care Act, negatively known as ‘Obamacare’, which is both derided as too expensive and lauded as a life-saver.

And these are just two areas of domestic policy—his plans in foreign spheres are arguably even more controversial.

As a result, little if anything is known about his plans for intellectual property.

The only insights, and contradictory ones at that, are a campaign policy that alludes to improving “protection of America’s intellectual property in China”, and his promise to dismantle the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership and the Trans-Pacific Partnership, which would both significantly raise protection of US-owned IP in signatory countries.

Indeed, one of Trump’s first actions as president was to pull the US out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership.

Trump’s attitude toward business offers more clues.

His cabinet appointments are full of business professionals with experience that the new president promises will make America great again, which, in Trump speak, means wealthier.

It’s no surprise then that prominent trade groups were quick to provide the new president with suggestions on how he should approach this area of law.

The Internet Association, a coalition of more than 40 key players in internet business, including Google, Netflix, Amazon and Twitter, has been louder than most and has been petitioning for US IP reform for some time.

Ellen Schrantz, director of government affairs and counsel at the Internet Association, says: “The president is focused on domestic jobs and the economy and IP is a key part of that.”

“Balanced policies that promote innovation drove the internet industry to 6 percent of US GDP in 2014. Internet industries rely on IP law to boost domestic job growth at an increasing rate,” Schrantz explained.

“That’s on top of the growth they already provide to small businesses nationwide through access to global markets at the click of a button.”

“IP policy is a key economic issue for our economy and we’re hopeful the president will treat it as such.”

The modernisation of copyright law, in particular, should “serve the public interest above the interests of particular industries”.

Schrantz: “The courts have consistently reaffirmed that copyright law is about promoting creativity in the public interest, not about choices amongst stakeholders.”

“Lawmakers should always endeavour towards that goal, which the courts consistently reaffirm through legal and constitutional interpretation,” Schrantz explained.

In November last year, the association provided Trump with a roadmap on IP policy, just six days after his unexpected victory over rival Hillary Clinton.

The association asked that Trump uphold and support Digital Millennium Copyright Act safe harbour provisions, and modernise the US Copyright Office to “meet the needs of diverse stakeholders and the public interest in the 21st century”. Schrantz says: “The Copyright Office must focus on administrative and policy reforms that reflect its mission to serve the public interest.”

“We firmly believe that enhanced transparency, accountability, and accessibility, as well as technical upgrades, are necessary.”

In its roadmap, the association also asked that Trump use his political sway to ensure that the EU’s Digital Single Market proposals, including the highly controversial link tax, do not make it to implementation as they currently stand.

Schrantz says that, while the Internet Association supports the concept of a Digital Single Market, “some proposals focus on protectionist policies and create concerns for both the internet industry and consumers”. She adds: “We hope that work on Digital Single Market proposals will continue in a way that promotes innovation and competition rather than hinders them.”

Features
The latest features from IPPro The Internet
The US has listed Alibaba’s Taobao marketplace on its notorious markets list for the first time in four years. Alibaba’s Matthew Bassiur discusses why these negative feelings might be misdirected
Rights holders that want to protect their valuable intellectual property have to be willing to change
Join Our Newsletter

Sign up today and never
miss the latest news or an issue again

Subscribe now
Alternative dispute resolution mechanisms are not being used to their full potential, according to IPzen’s Julia Cytrynbaum
India's copyright societies are subject to interim measures that boost transparency. DPS Parmar and Aniruddh Singh of LexOrbis report
Courts are wrestling with the legal definition of users of social networks. Nathalie Dreyfus examines how they have done so far
The BRICS IP Forum and the IP Summit allowed intellectual property professionals to reflect on a topsy-turvy 2016, and hope for a simpler 2017
Experts discuss what brands can do to protect their trademarks online during the Cyber Monday sales, with fakes widely available
TM Cloud’s Practice Guide is the latest addition to a system that can help brands achieve robust protection in a world reliant on brand power
Country profiles
The latest country profiles from IPPro The Internet
While Indian fair use is not explicit, provisions exist for the fair dealing of copyright. Rohit Singh and Tina Canneth of Abu-Ghazeleh Intellectual Property delve deeper
An interpretation of the current events exception in Radosavljević is creative, say BDK Advokati's Bogdan Ivanišević and Marko Popović
IPPro Patents

Visit our sister site
for all the latest IP patents news and analysis

ippropatents.com
Yu-Li Tsai of Deep & Far examines how damages are calculated in patent infringement litigation
A recent amendment will make costly annulments a thing of the past. Gilberto Sanchez of SPECyF explains
New legislation in Turkey promises a swathe of trademark changes. Dr Cahit Suluk of Cahit Suluk Intellectual Property Law Firm explains
A trademark decision clarified ‘against the public order’ as an absolute ground for refusal. Sár and Partners – Danubia Patent & Law Office reports
Bogdan Ivanišević and Marko Popović of BDK Advokati review the recent squabble about copyright protection for ‘routinely created photos’
Alston & Bird recently expanded with a new office focusing on counselling Chinese companies on US intellectual property law. Yitai Hu explains what patent owners face when working across borders
Interviews
The latest interviews from IPPro The Internet