NWU submits recommendations to the White House on copyright infringement and enforcement

On August 10, 2012, the NWU submitted comments to the White House "Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator" (IPEC) in response to a call for public input regarding the administration's strategic plan for intellectual property enforcement:

These comments continue the NWU's involvement in consultations with IPEC. In 2010, the NWU submitted comments in response to IPEC's initial call for suggested priorities for the newly-established IPEC office. In 2011, NWU representatives met with the IPEC and her staff to renew our call for action to protect and enforce writers' rights against infringements.

According to the NWU's latest submission to IPEC,"Copyrights are useless to writers if, as is the case today, they are effectively unenforceable.... The patterns of infringement we identified in our written comments and our meeting with the IPEC continue unabated, with no visible effort by the U.S. government to protect our rights as writers."

The NWU calls for concrete actions including:

  1. Establishment of a copyright small claims court;
  2. Criminal prosecution of large, sophisticated commercial publishers and intermediaries who traffic in infringing digital copies without actually holding rights to do so;
  3.  Recognition of digital and other self-publication as "normal commercial exploitation" of written and other work, protected by the Berne Convention;
  4. Diplomatic effort to enforce the rights of US writers under the Berne Convention against foreign laws permitting copying of "orphan" or "out of print" works; and
  5. Respect for the rights of writers in development of US schemes for "orphan" works.

The NWU will continue to pursue this agenda with the IPEC and Congress.

Links to the IPEC dockets are available on the NWU Book Division website.


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