On the internet, everyone is a creator.

Learn more about what the NAFTA negotiations mean for creators and innovators:

Below, we've compiled a list of a wide variety of groups that have spoken out about NAFTA's implications for the internet, as well as research showing the huge benefits of pro-innovation policy.

We're also collecting stories from creators who have been enabled by the internet, and the online innovators who provide powerful creative platforms.

Watch this brief explainer video from Re:Create to learn more about pro-innovation copyright policy in the US.

Letters & Statements:

  • Nov. 1, 2017 - Open Letter To Ambassador Robert Lighthizer [pdf]

    From: Engine Advocacy

    “First, NAFTA must reflect the full spectrum of U.S. copyright law that is essential to our existence and growth, including the innovation-oriented fair use doctrine, the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) safe harbors, and other copyright limitations and exceptions that protect startups, consumers, and creators. The startup community depends fundamentally on these principles, and if other countries fail to reflect these same principles in their laws, we are at great risk. For instance, if through NAFTA USTR requires Mexico to adopt a more stringent set of litigation tools and enforcement measures that can be used against startups, then we will get sued out of the market if we lack the same protections that we have in the United States.”

    “Second, any changes to NAFTA must include intermediary liability protections that have led to the creation of pioneering platforms for collaboration, communication, creation, distribution, promotion, and mobilization that are used by billions of people. Modern technology allows millions of people worldwide to reach even the smallest of online platforms. This model only works because U.S. law enables companies to host or serve as a platform for huge volumes of transactions, communications and other activity by third parties. NAFTA modernization should include provisions to prohibit governments from forcing online services to be gatekeepers for content on the internet -- consistent with legitimate law enforcement requirements.”

  • Oct. 5, 2017 - Copyright provisions in NAFTA must include fair use and safe harbor protections

    From: Re:Create Coalition

    “We have serious and fundamental concerns regarding the recent U.S. proposal on copyright in NAFTA as reported in the media. First, NAFTA must include strong provisions on limitations and exceptions to copyright, such as fair use, that reflect U.S. law. The economic implications of failing to include strong fair use protections are profound, particularly if NAFTA includes strong copyright protection and enforcement measures. The Internet Association, in a recent white paper, said:

    A strict regime of strong copyright protection and enforcement — without limitations and exceptions like the 'fair use' of copyrighted material — would doom the internet economy and U.S. innovation leadership.

    We agree with the Internet Association. Fair use adds $2.8 trillion to the U.S. economy or approximately 16% of G.D.P. Fair use benefits 18 million workers, which is 12.5% of the American workforce. In 2014, America exported $368 billion in fair use-based goods and services, a 21% increase from 2010. Simply put, the fair use-based economy is one of the largest and fastest growing parts of the American economy, and has become a cornerstone of not just our global digital leadership, but the United States' global economic leadership as well.”

  • Nov. 15, 2017 - NAFTA Must Include Fair Use, Safe Harbors

    From: Over 70 international copyright experts

    “To fully take advantage of the opportunities that new technologies offer to promote creativity, innovation, and access to knowledge, copyright must strike a balance between exclusive rights and limitations and exceptions to those rights that serve public interests. Trade agreements should include language requiring parties to promote such a balance, and should also include language protecting rights of countries to adopt open and flexible general exceptions like fair dealing and fair use.”

    “An appropriate copyright balance requires mechanisms by which copyright owners call attention to instances of possible copyright infringement online, paired with demarcated safe harbors shielding Internet intermediaries from liability for infringement initiated by individual users. We call on parties to international agreements to assure that intermediary safeguards are provided in every country, and to allow each country flexibility to define the specific obligations of copyright owners and intermediaries.”

  • Sept. 14, 2017 - Letter to USTR, House Committee on Ways & Means, Committee on Finance [pdf]

    From: FreedomWorks & R Street

    “A light touch should be taken when approaching Intellectual Property provisions in any agreement primarily aimed at ensuring free trade. More appropriate fora exist, such as domestic law or international intellectual property agreements, to take up the broad questions of IP and its limits. To the extent that IP must be incorporated into NAFTA modernization, negotiators should take care to ensure protections adhere to the U.S. model. IP provisions should not asymmetrically place stringent obligations on parties to protect narrowed IP rights. Trade negotiators should seek limitations and exceptions to allow for new entrants, such as derivative works, to enter the market.”

  • Aug. 15, 2017 - To Benefit America, a Renegotiated NAFTA Must Include Four Tech Points

    From: CCIA

    “Remember, the technology behind the World Wide Web entered the public domain only months before we ratified NAFTA. Since then, America's tech sector has become our economic engine — the envy of the entire world.”

    “Balancing copyright limitations and exceptions removes impediments that stifle innovation, and including fair use provisions and strong liability protections is critical for internet intermediaries.”

Research & Fact Sheets:

  • Eliminating Internet Safe Harbors Would Hurt The Economy [pdf]

    From: Internet Association

    “A new economic analysis by NERA Economic Consulting finds weakening intermediary liability safe harbor protections would significantly reduce economic activity in the internet sector, causing the U.S. economy to lose 4.25 million jobs and $440 billion in GDP every 10 years.”

  • Mapping Changes to the Openness of Copyright User Rights [pdf]

    From: Program on Information Justice and Intellectual Property (PIJIP)

    “Although all countries are trending toward more open user rights, there is a clear gap between wealthy and developing countries. Developing countries in our sample are now at the level of openness that existed in the wealthy countries 30 years ago. Few countries, and almost no developing countries, have sufficient user rights most needed to support the digital economy, including for transformative use or text- and datamining.”

  • The Sky Is Rising

    From: Techdirt/The Copia Institute

    “All too frequently, the debate over these issues is framed as the technology industry "against" the content industry, but as we see with this report, that appears to be an unfortunately inaccurate framing. Throughout history, the two industries are intertwined, with innovation and improvements in technology opening up tremendous new opportunities for creators, for the public and for those who serve both.”

Op-Eds & Blog Posts:

  • Nov. 9, 2017 - A 21st century NAFTA must preserve copyright balance

    By: Bill Watson and Sasha Moss, R Street Institute

    “At the behest of music and movie studios, U.S. trade negotiators have crafted international law that mandates longer copyright terms and stricter penalties for infringement. Those same interests are hoping to move the needle even further in a new NAFTA. They want to use NAFTA to lengthen Canadian copyrights from their current level (ridiculously long) to the U.S. standard (really, really ridiculously long). The Mexican copyright term length is so ridiculously long that even the thought of the United States and Canada moving to this model is too terrifying for words. Furthermore, they want to force website operators to police users who might post potentially infringing content. They also want to make it illegal for consumers to tinker with software contained in the products they buy.”

  • Nov. 4, 2017 - Entertainment trade associations looking for opportunity to push a false narrative

    By: Josh Lamel, Re:Create Coalition

    “There's more than just anecdotal proof that it is in America's interest to protect safe harbors both here and encourage their use abroad. Fair use industries equate to 16 percent of the U.S. annual economy. That translates to 18 million American workers employed in fair use-based jobs generating $5.6 trillion in annual revenue. Meanwhile, a recent study found that weakened safe harbors would result in the loss of 425,000 American jobs and $44 billion in U.S. GDP each year.”

  • Oct. 9, 2017 - With Digital Trade Barriers Stacking Up, NAFTA Modernization Is Key

    By: Rachael Stelly, CCIA

    “The United States will be shooting itself in the foot if it pursues positive digital trade provisions such as data flows in NAFTA, but does not also pursue innovation-oriented, balanced copyright rules such as the limitations and exceptions that the U.S. digital economy depends upon.”

  • Oct. 4, 2017 - Defending Users in NAFTA 2.0: Who Are We Up Against?

    By: Jeremy Malcolm, EFF

    “While EFF has always said that the DMCA safe harbor system has its faults, the safe harbor that it offers to online platforms, protecting them from copyright liability for content of their users, is essential to a user-centric Internet. For all its flaws, the DMCA safe harbor system, which balances the interests of copyright holders with those of users, is better than the alternatives Hollywood often proposed, such as either filtering everything or switching to a read-only, cable-TV model of online content distribution.”

  • Oct. 2, 2017 - Keeping The DMCA's Grand Bargain In NAFTA

    By: Jonathan Band, Library Copyright Alliance

    “The balanced structure of the DMCA has been reflected in our trade agreements for the purpose of benefitting the overseas operations of both the content industry and the service providers. Precisely because the free trade agreements embodied the DMCA's evenhanded approach, USTR negotiated the copyright sections of these agreements with relatively little domestic controversy. Now, however, the content providers seek to depart from this framework in NAFTA; they hope to achieve the DMCA's benefit — the TPM provisions — without the tradeoff they have agreed to repeatedly since 1998. Indeed, they agreed to the DMCA framework as recently as last year, when they supported adoption of TPP.”

  • Sept. 15, 2017 - What the Trump Administration's NAFTA Priorities Get Right (and Wrong) About Digital Trade

    By: Anupam Chander, Georgetown University

    “In recent years, the United States has sought a more balanced approach to copyright protection in its trade agreements, recognizing that too strong intellectual property rights can limit innovation and consumer rights. Since the U.S.-Singapore free trade agreement of 2003, the United States has included copyright safe harbors for internet service providers in its trade agreements. Such provisions make possible the internet that we have today: users can freely share information without online platforms being sued into oblivion by copyright infringement claims, as long as the platforms take responsible steps when they receive claims of copyright infringement. The Trump administration should recognize the importance of these protections in U.S. law for the development of Silicon Valley enterprises and push for their expansion to international trade agreements. Furthermore, the administration should protect exceptions to copyright that allow use of copyrighted works for purposes such as criticism, news reporting, and education — along the lines of fair use in U.S. copyright law.”