Geoffrey Manne & Kristian Stout on Section 512

IPWatchdog – ICLE President Geoffrey Manne and Director of Innovation Policy Kristian Stout were cited by IPWatchdog in a story about their paper proposing potential reforms to Section 512 of the Copyright Act. You can read full piece here.

The International Center for Law and Economics (ICLE) released a white paper on Thursday arguing that Section 512 of Title 17 of the Copyright Act has been a failure, and it should be reevaluated and overhauled. Congress passed Section 512 as part of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), and authors Kristian Stout and Geoffrey Manne argue the federal courts have written out key provisions in the law.

Stout and Manne write that Section 512 has succeeded in allowing online service providers (OSPs) such as social media companies to grow and thrive by providing a safe harbor provision as long as they take down infringement promptly. However, the authors argue that the law has failed to provide proper incentives and systems to prevent digital piracy.

The white paper builds on a May 2020 report from the U.S. Copyright Office which found that OSPs found Section 512 to be a success due to the growth it allowed, while on the whole rightsholders were more likely to have a negative view of Section 512. The U.S. Copyright Office “concluded that Congress’s original intended balance has been tilted askew” in favor of OSPs and against rightsholders.