September 4, 2017
Google and other members of tech trade groups have gone up against the entertainment industry’s chief lobbying organizations in recent years, but now the tech firms are describing themselves in a new light. “We are the new faces of the American content industry, winning Emmys and Oscars, providing distribution for streaming-only Grammy winners, while creating services that address the challenge of piracy by allowing consumers to legally access content globally,” states a letter sent to U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, which details concerns regarding the North American Free Trade Agreement.
“That sounds like the mission of the MPAA and the Recording Industry Association of America, as well as other groups focused on copyright and content protection,” reports Variety.
The letter to Lighthizer was signed by representatives of the Computer and Communications Industry Association, the Consumer Technology Association, Engine and the Information Technology Industry Council.
“Among the signatories to the letter was the Internet Association, which includes as members Netflix and Amazon, now two big players in Hollywood’s content marketplace,” notes Variety. “They are not members of the MPAA, but they did recently join a coalition to fight piracy that includes the traditional studios.”
Studios are seeking more copyright protection through trade agreements, while Internet companies consider safe harbor provisions a priority in order to protect themselves from liability when, for example, pirated content is made available on Facebook and YouTube.
“If we seek to create an international obligation in a modernized NAFTA that embodies only one part of the U.S. copyright framework, but leave out other portions that the U.S. technology sector depends on, we will cause serious harm to the most innovative and fastest growing segments of our economy, and put at risk vital jobs,” the letter states. “This is why it is essential to ensure the balance at the heart of the U.S. copyright system, including DMCA safe harbors and other copyright limitations and exceptions, is embraced by our key trading partners in North America.”