In the wake of last month's roundtable on proposed changes to copyright statutory damages, eight groups representing the public interest and industry submitted a white paper outlining the various reasons why it's a bad idea to increase statutory damages for infringements of compilations and derivative works.
The paper goes into some detail on the legislative history of copyright statutory damages, showing how the current law (which says that there should only be one award of statutory damages per compilation or derivative work) struck a balance between the old 1909 statute and proposals that would have limited all statutory damages to one award per case.
It also details the litigation that's involved compilations and statutory damages, showing there is no evidence showing a need for higher damages, especially given how high statutory damages are already.
Finally, the paper notes several harms that could arise from the proposed change in the law, including increased incentives for “copyright trolls”; discouraging new technologies that might run afoul of higher statutory damages; and chilling fair use and other lawful uses of works.
The white paper was submitted to the Copyright Office in lieu of a closing statement by the Library Copyright Alliance, the Computer and Communications Industry Association, NetCoalition, the Consumer Electronics Association, Public Knowledge, the Center for Democracy and Technology, the Association of Public Television Stations, and the Printing Industries of America.