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At NAFTA Summit, a Chance to Shore Up Copyright Terms

After months of buildup, negotiations for modernizing the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) began on the morning of August 16, when officials from the U.S., Canada, and Mexico met to attempt to recalibrate the treaty. Among other things, the summit provides an important opportunity to modernize NAFTA’s copyright provisions for the digital age.

The Authors Guild has joined 18 other organizations in signing the letter below. The letter was delivered to our country’s principal negotiator, U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, on the eve of the negotiations. It seeks to ensure that Ambassador Lighthizer hears from individual creators about the importance to U.S. cultural industries (and the economy at large) of strong, effective, and up-to-date copyright provisions. This effort is particularly timely in light of extensive lobbying efforts by the tech sector arguing for the loosening of NAFTA’s copyright provisions.

“The internet’s global reach has made copyright protections and enforcement increasingly important to free trade agreements,” the letter states. “Widespread copyright infringement and unduly broad limitations to copyright protection distort overseas markets and undermine the ability of our members to successfully and fairly engage in commerce.”

Read the letter in its entirety below.

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Photo credit: By Keepscases CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons