Session III: Enforcement Tools in the U.S. Government Toolbox to Support Countries’ Compliance with Copyright Obligations

Strong, Maria

Congress has charged the Copyright Office with providing legal advice on domestic and international copyright matters to both the executive branch and the judicial branch, in addition to our work with Congress. We have expertise in international copyright norms, we provide input on other countries’ copyright laws and legislation, we are sensitive to defensive concerns regarding our law and legal system, and we share our views and advice with our colleagues. With intellectual property being part of the trade portfolio, we participate in many various interagency consultations on copyright law developments, including trade actions that involve other countries. At the end of the day, the responsible agency on trade matters—the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (“USTR”)—has the final say.

Two caveats up front. First, my presentation is not going to address specific politics or geopolitics of trade sanctions, and in that vein, I will not address investment remedies like investor state dispute settlement. Second, I’m not going to speak in much detail to other important trade disciplines where copyright interests certainly may arise, such as services, market access, telecommunications, goods, and small and medium enterprises. Depending on the specific challenges U.S. stakeholders may be facing in other countries, these disciplines also offer possible means of engagement.

My task here is to highlight a few ways the United States uses trade tools to work with other countries to improve their compliance with international copyright norms. I also have a few strategies for advocates to use when working with government officials to help you make your case for effective engagement with other countries on copyright matters.


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November 3, 2017


These remarks are a transcript of a talk that was given on October 14, 2016, at the Kernochan Center Annual Symposium at Columbia Law School.