U.S. Dept. of Commerce Recommends Copyright-Law Amendments

The U.S. Department of Commerce has issued a report recommending amendments to copyright law that purportedly would provide courts with both more guidance and greater flexibility in awarding statutory damages. The report, “White Paper on Remixes, First Sale, and Statutory Damages,” was issued by the Department’s Internet Policy Task Force and addresses:
(1) the legal framework for the creation of remixes;
(2) the relevance and scope of the “first sale doctrine;” and
(3) the appropriate calibration of statutory damages in the contexts of individual file sharers and secondary liability for large-scale infringement.

The report’s proposed copyright-law amendments include a list of factors for courts and juries to consider when determining the amount of statutory damages.

The report is available at www.uspto.gov/copyright-white-paper-2016.

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