Earlier this year, the US's IP Czar (technically, IP "Enforcement Coordinator"), Victoria Espinel, asked for public comment on how her enforcement plan should work. While I had some trouble with the basis for many of the questions (which all seemed to assume that greater enforcement was, without question, a good thing), I still submitted my own comments. Soon afterwards, I pointed to an absolute must read filing by NetCoalition/CCIA, which was 23 pages of brilliance, picking apart the claims of various pro-stronger-copyright groups one-by-one. Since then, a few key reports have been released, and, in response, Jonathan Band, who wrote much of the original report, alerts our attention to the fact that NetCoalition/CCIA have filed supplemental comments with Espinel (pdf) based on those reports:
The filing talks about those three reports -- all of which we've discussed here previously -- to reiterate some of the key points made in the original filing. The first, of course, is the GAO report that debunked the claims from industry studies about all of the "losses" caused by infringement. Amusingly, that GAO report was required by the same law that created the IP Czar position in the first place, the ProIP Act. The filing notes, by the way, that the GAO's mandate for the report didn't even say it had to investigate copyright infringement -- just counterfeiting. However, the GAO appears to have been so troubled by the bogus reports out there that it decided to publicly call those studies into question. As this new filing points out, many of the comments filed by groups in support of strong copyright enforcement, relied on those reports that the GAO has since debunked. This should call into question the legitimacy of those filings entirely.
Second, this supplemental filing highlights that ridiculous Chamber of Commerce report that we highlighted recently as well. It was the one that couldn't pass the laugh test, because it lumped in pretty much every company in what it decided were "IP-intensive industries" and compared them to companies in what it considered to be "non-IP-intensive industries" and then assumed, with no proof whatsoever, that all of the benefits to those IP-intensive industries came from intellectual property laws. The report was so ridiculous that no one who actually read the details could take it seriously. But, that's the problem. Very few people actually do read the details. The whole point of the report is to just take the distorted headline and reuse it. Thankfully, Band and others in this filing are trying to make it clear to the White House that the Chamber of Commerce's report is not an accurate description of what's going on.
Finally, it highlights CCIA's own report -- using the very same methodology as those who claim the "copyright industries" contribute $1.52 trillion to the economy -- to show that exceptions to copyright (such as fair use) contribute much, much more to the economy. Who knows if Espinel, or others at the White House are paying attention to the details in these filings, but these two filings from NetCoalition/CCIA are incredibly detailed and well supported with evidence. Hopefully someone in the White House is paying attention.