Does The US Copyright Office Not Know That Copyright Policy's Main Stakeholders Are The Public?
More than four years ago, the Copyright Office kicked off a project to do a big "study" on Section 512 of the DMCA, better known as either the "notice-and-takedown" section of copyright law, or the "safe harbors" section for websites. The Office took comments, held a few, somewhat bizarre "roundtables" (that we participated in)... and then... silence. Years of silence. Until yesterday when it finally released the report. It's 250 pages and there's a lot in there -- and we're likely to have a few more posts on it as we dig into the details, but to kick it off, I wanted to highlight just how bizarre a report it is, in that the authors don't seem to realize or ever acknowledge that the purpose of copyright law (and even this section) is to create the best possible services for the public.
Instead, the report seems to frame the entire Section 512 debate as a battle between the legacy copyright industry and giant internet companies. From the executive summary: