Akron Law Professor Testifies Before Senate Subcommittee on Modernizing Internet Copyright

After joining Akron Law in January, Mark F. Schultz was one of eight experts to testify on updating the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.


(Image via The University of Akron)

New School of Law Professor Mark F. Schultz is seen here testifying at the Feb. 11 U.S. Senate Subcommittee on Intellectual Property hearing.

By Megan Parker, Editor-in-Chief

In the first of several hearings to modernize the 1998 Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), Akron Law Professor Mark F. Schultz testified before the United States Senate Subcommittee on Intellectual Property.

Schultz was one of eight internet copyright experts who testified on Feb. 11 during the hearing about two portions of the DMCA, as he primarily teaches and writes in the area of intellectual property.

According to a
press release from The University of Akron, the two sections discussed were Section 512, which protects internet platforms from liability for pirated content and Section 1201, which limits digital copyright protection loss.

During his testimony, Schultz talked about how content creators are becoming increasingly frustrated with users copying and uploading creative works without permission.

“Over the years, I have become increasingly concerned that our nation’s laws have come to prioritize the interests of a handful of wealthy and powerful businesses over the property rights and well-being of individual creators and the businesses that bring their work to the public,” Schultz said in his
written statement.

Schultz believes that although the DMCA was originally enacted with good intentions 22 years ago, it has become outdated due to the growth of technology and the internet in recent years.

The technological premises of the DMCA’s notice and takedown system became outdated months after it’s passage and courts have been narrowing the responsibilities placed on internet services, Schultz said.

In concluding his statements about the need for modernizing the DMCA, Schultz said a more equal distribution of the responsibilities of internet copyright are needed for the future.

“It is time to re-balance the scales in favor of a more equitable distribution of burdens that supports both our innovative and creative industries,” Schultz concluded.

Prior to becoming the Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company Chair in Intellectual Property Law and Director of the
Center for Intellectual Property Law and Technology, Schultz was a professor at Southern Illinois University School of Law.

Schultz also is currently serving on the Academic Advisory Board of the
Copyright Alliance.