Last month, the National Telecommunications and Information Association (NTIA) asked the public for comments on how the NTIA should prioritize their future internet policy initiatives.
Many of you will ask, “what is the NTIA?” The NTIA is an agency that advises the President on telecommunication and information policy issues. Their purpose, among other things, is to “ensure that the internet remains an engine for continued innovation and economic growth.”
Government agencies, like the NTIA, often issue a “notice of inquiry” prior to carrying out a policy objective in order to gather information from the public on a specific issue. For example, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) might ask the public to provide comments on how expanding the radio frequencies reserved for certain uses might affect their businesses or lives.
In this case, the NTIA has asked the public to submit comments “on its international internet policy priorities for 2018 and beyond.”
Needless to say, CreativeFuture, as representatives of over 540 companies and 190,000 members who are affected by rampant piracy online, needs to be part of this conversation.
Our comments, which were filed earlier this week, explain:
As representatives of the millions of Americans who work in the creative industries, we are writing to call on the NTIA to support more effective laws and policies, in the U.S. and globally, to reduce this theft [piracy] that stymies creative expression and totals in the billions of dollars of annual economic harm.
Strong copyright protections give creatives the freedom to pursue their art as a career, not just as a hobby. These protections ensure that the months and years of uncompensated work that are invested in the creation of songs, crafting a film, or coding a program have a real opportunity to be rewarded with a meaningful return – a return that may then be used to pursue the next work, continuing to enrich our culture and society.
This is why the NTIA’s request for comments on the free flow of information online and emerging technologies and trends is so incredibly timely for the millions of Americans who depend on copyright to make a living.
We ask the NTIA and all relevant federal agencies responsible for the development of international internet policy to remain sensitive to the need to preserve and strengthen these rights in the face of a digital onslaught – through appropriate domestic policy and global advocacy that provides both accountability and meaningful incentives for constructive engagement to ensure the rights of all stakeholders are protected.
We strongly believe that the creative communities must be part of this conversation. As piracy continues to grow and evolve, others — most notably Big Tech companies — will profit from the theft of our creative works instead of the creatives who invest their hearts, souls, and resources to create them.
If we are not part of this conversation, we will continue to enrich others with our hard work and not receive the fair compensation we deserve. We will see a shrinking job market where creative work is harder to come by. And, possibly worst of all, we will live in a society that is no longer enriched by creativity but rather hindered by its absence.
We don’t want this to happen – and to prevent it, we must continue to #StandCreative.
To read our full comments to the NTIA, click here.