Public Knowledge to Testify in Copyright Remedies Campaign
Public Knowledge to Testify in Copyright Remedies Campaign
Public Knowledge to Testify in Copyright Remedies Campaign

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    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 
    exposure rapidly. 
    “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
    Sentinel Worldwide
    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 or 405-249-9435.