Today, Sherwin Siy, Vice President of Legal Affairs at Public Knowledge, will testify before the U.S. House Committee on the Judiciary Subcommittee on Courts, Intellectual Property, and the Internet. The title of the hearing is “Copyright Remedies.”
The following can be attributed to Sherwin Siy, Vice President of Legal Affairs at Public Knowledge:
“The existing method for calculating statutory damages makes less
sense in an environment where ordinary users of technology can make copies of hundreds
or thousands of works, incidentally or not, in noncommercial settings and with no profit
motive. In fact, the current per-work limitation was originally created at the request of
broadcasters and the film industry, which feared that an infringement on their part might
result in a massive multiplier if a single work was infringed many times.
“In contrast, the scenarios that typically lead to disproportionate damages today result from a large
number of works being reproduced a small number of times—something that would have
required a much more deliberate, sustained, and likely profit-motivated effort in past
“This suggests the calculation of statutory damages should be altered to reflect
today’s realities, where many more individuals and institutions face potential copyright
liability, where technology makes it more likely that copies of multiple works are not
made with malicious or commercial motives, and where secondary liability can increase
“Some potential solutions include removing statutory damages for good-faith,
reasonable efforts to make non-infringing uses. Currently, such an exception applies to
nonprofit educational institutions and public broadcasting entities, but expanding it would
also allow journalists, artists, and others to rely on fair use without unreasonable fear.
Others to testify are as follows:
Mr. David Bitkower
Acting Deputy Assistant Attorney General in the Criminal Division
U.S. Department of Justice
Mr. Steven M. Tepp
President and Chief Executive Officer
Mr. Matt Schruers
Vice President for Law and Policy
Computer & Communications Industry Association
Ms. Nancy E. Wolff
Cowan, DeBaets, Abrahams & Sheppard LLP
A copy of the testimony can be found here.
Members of the media may contact Communications Director Shiva Stella with inquiries, interview requests, or to join the Public Knowledge press list at firstname.lastname@example.org or 405-249-9435.