Intellectual Property Rights & Anti-Piracy

Strong intellectual property laws are fundamental to our industry's ongoing ability to produce and deliver creative works to the marketplace. IFTA lobbies actively for enactment of the necessary laws and for effective criminal and civil enforcement of those laws.

September 6, 2017
On the heels of the second round of North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) talks this week, IFTA united with other leading industry organizations on September 6 in a letter to USTR's Ambassador Robert Lighthizer urging the need to seek stronger measures for the protection and enforcement of copyright in NAFTA modernization. DGA, IATSE, SAG-AFTRA, IFTA and the MPAA, as the united voice of the U.S. film & television industry, stressed the need for strong copyright protections to ensure American producers and creators can compete globally, a resistance to accepting as a model the compromised TPP provisions, and a need for a strong digital trade policy. The groups also highlighted the important contributions in jobs and exports the film & television industry creates. 
February 21, 2017
IFTA submitted further comments to the U.S. Copyright Office in response to their Request for Additional Comments on the impact and effectiveness of the safe harbor provisions set forth in section 512 of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA).  IFTA reiterated its call for a rebalanced approach to the section 512 safe harbors through updated legislation with a “notice, takedown and stay-down” framework to incentivize all stakeholders in the digital ecosystem to take effective and rapid action to mitigate online piracy, especially infringement resulting from pre-release theft.
April 1, 2016
IFTA submitted comments to the U.S. Copyright Office in response to their Notice of Inquiry seeking stakeholder and public submissions on the impact and effectiveness of the ISPs “safe harbor” from copyright infringement liability under Section 512 of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. These provisions dictate what actions the ISPs must take and how quickly they must take them when notified of an infringing file found on their system. IFTA welcomed the opportunity to advocate for a more efficient system of notice and takedown which provides for a one notice and stay down requirement and in which the ISPs more effectively deal with recidivists.
October 16, 2015
IFTA submitted comments to the Office of the U.S. Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator (IPEC) in response to its request for input to its third Joint Strategic Plan on intellectual property enforcement for the period of 2016-2019.  IFTA’s submission follows its previous contributions in connection with the first and second Joint Strategic Plans that were issued in 2010 and 2013.
In this year’s filing, IFTA emphasized that government action – not just voluntary industry agreements – is needed to combat infringement, highlighting the need for updated laws to establish a more effective criminal deterrent and to incentivize all stakeholders to take effective and rapid action to mitigate piracy, especially pre-release theft.
October 14, 2015
IFTA joined a number of industry organizations, including the MPAA and ASCAP, in co-signing a letter expressing concerns regarding a forthcoming American Institute of Law (ALI) project intending to restate copyright law. In this letter, IFTA and other supporting groups stated concerns that individuals selected to work on this restatement have publicly advocated against the interests of creators and copyright owners in the past. An independent organization, ALI works with a diverse group of practitioners, judges, and scholars to drafts restatements of the law, model codes, and principles of law that are used to influence legislature.

August 14, 2015
IFTA submitted written comments to the U.K. Government’s Intellectual Property Office (IPO) in response to its Consultation on Changes to the Penalties for Online Copyright Infringement under the country’s Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 (CDPA). Specifically, the consultation sought views on harmonizing the maximum custodial sentence for online and physical copyright infringement at 10 years. At present, ‘physical’ copyright offences under the CDPA carry a 10-year maximum custodial sentence, whereas the provisions governing online infringement only provide for a maximum two-year sentence. IFTA supports harmonizing the maximum custodial sentences at 10 years and in its filing emphasized that the current discrepancy in criminal penalties fails to reflect the massive damage that may be inflicted on rights holders as a result of infringements that occur online and the current two-year sentence for online offenses falls short of establishing an effective deterrent for such criminal activity.

April 14, 2015
IFTA filed a response to the European Union’s public consultation on the Evaluation and Modernization of the Legal Framework for the Enforcement of Intellectual Property Rights. IFTA’s response confirmed that the EU’s existing Copyright and e-Commerce Directives are well-tuned to the digital era and should not be reconsidered. However, lack of implementation in certain Member States of the existing practical and cost effective enforcement mechanisms (such as notice, take down and stay down or implementation of effective recidivist policies) prevent independent producers from protecting their rights against online piracy. IFTA urged the Commission to ensure that notice, take down and stay down, as well as other effective ways to enforce rights are available in a consistent manner across the EU.

February 7, 2014
IFTA issues formal comments in response to the European Commission’s Public Consultation on the Review of the EU Copyright Rules, as part of its effort to “ensure that the EU copyright regulatory framework stays fit for purpose in the digital environment.”
February 7, 2014
The International Intellectual Property Alliance's 2014 Special 301 Report to the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) on whether acts, policies or practices of any foreign country deny adequate and effective protection of intellectual property rights or deny fair and equitable market access for U.S. persons relying on intellectual property protection.
November 12, 2013
IFTA has filed Comments in response to a U.S. government inquiry on Copyright Policy, Creativity, and Innovation in the Digital Economy. The Notice of Inquiry issued by the Department of Commerce, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, and the National Telecommunications and Information Administration is part of a comprehensive government review of Copyright Law. IFTA’s Comments were aimed at ensuring that U.S. laws are effective for independent rights holders in today’s digital environment, providing the necessary legal framework for producers and their distribution partners to safely explore ways to offer films and television programming in a variety of ways on emerging online distribution platforms.

March 24, 2010
IFTA recommends stronger IP regulations and enforcement in the U.S. and abroad.

April 14, 2009
IFTA's ongoing advocacy included a recent hearing on anti-piracy issues before the U.S. House Committee on Foreign Affairs. IFTA commented that piracy causes lost revenues and damages the value of independent films by lowering the license fees that may be obtained by local distributors.

February 12, 2007
As a founding member of the International Intellectual Property Association, IFTA contributes marketplace research and analysis to the Annual Special 301 Report, a comprehensive overview of countries that have failed to provide copyright protection or have been flagged as potential offenders. The report also details each country's legislation and other measures to improve copyright enforcement within its borders.

January 30, 2008
IFTA works with the United States Trade Representative in the WTO complaint against China for failing to protect and enforce intellectual property rights, inconsistent with its Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) obligations. In this case, United States asserts that criminal trademark and copyright infringement thresholds are inadequate, creating willful copyright piracy on a commercial scale, and that authorities have failed to prevent unlawful intellectual property products from entering channels of commerce.