Register of Copyrights Maria Pallante has revealed an ambitious vision for a comprehensive overhaul of royalty management systems, but the U.S. National Research Council is calling for an increase in federal analytics initiatives before enlightened reforms can be drafted and enacted.
The National Academies' Board on Science, Technology and Economic Policy has released an approximately 100-page report that seemingly offers more questions than answers. But as the authors suggested, thoughtful inquiries are needed to cultivate the quality of data required for accurate, actionable conclusions regarding the current state of the U.S. copyright system. Key discussion points targeted for investigation include the incentives sought by content creators, distributors and users; the cost and efficacy of enforcement methods; and which policy provisions are helping or hurting voluntary licensing strategies.
"The domestic industries reliant on copyright and its exceptions, and in some cases balancing the two, have become more important economically as sources of growth, high-paying jobs and exports," the report preface stated. "Unlike the patent system, however, copyright has not historically attracted the same level of research interest and effort that helps inform public policy choices."
To remedy this situation, board members are asking the federal government to begin with the installation of two recurring surveys with distinct purposes. One should focus on how businesses are acquiring and leveraging intellectual assets of all types while the other should reach out to consumers to gather intelligence on how digital content is developed and distributed.