The Alliance comprises 29 member organizations from the worlds of entertainment, arts, technology and sports, and represents an estimated 11 million Americans working in copyright-related industries. Its Executive Director, Patrick Ross, is a former journalist and think tank senior fellow with more than 10 years of expertise writing about and advocating for the importance of intellectual property.
House Judiciary Committee Chairman John Conyers (D-MI) welcomed the coalition’s formation in a statement read at the launch event, which also featured a panel discussion with Grammy-winning musicians, a noted academic expert, and working artists.
“Strong copyright laws are essential to protect the livelihoods of millions of artists and inventors,” said Conyers. “But just as importantly, strong copyright is important to all Americans by driving creativity and innovation in our economy.”
Rep. Howard Berman (D-CA), chairman of the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Courts, the Internet and Intellectual Property, dropped by the event to offer additional words of encouragement. Berman is a well-known advocate of strong copyright law.
Rep. Howard Coble, ranking Republican on the Courts, Internet and Intellectual Property Subcommittee, sent a statement to the event which read in part: “I appreciate your effort to form one collective voice on copyright reform. As you know, copyright legislation is one of the most complicated and important areas in U.S. law. Digitization and related technologies beg some changes to the copyright laws, and I wish you the best of luck and my support as you rollout the Copyright Alliance.”
“Everybody loves creative works, and starting today, the Copyright Alliance will work to ensure the creative process continues by advancing the interest of millions of Americans,” said Ross. “Just look at the breadth of our membership: artists’ unions and guilds; large and small production and distribution companies; amateur and professional sports leagues; book publishing; business software; graphic artists; magazines; movies; music; newspapers; photographers; radio; television; and video game developers. Our common mission is to provide educational resources and promote creativity, jobs and growth through copyright.”
As one of its first actions, the coalition presented Chairman Conyers with a set of policy principles that the group said would guide their educational outreach efforts:
To enrich our culture through incentives to create and disseminate new and innovative creative works to citizens.
To promote the progress of science and creativity, as enumerated in the U.S. Constitution, by upholding and strengthening copyright law and preventing its diminishment.
To advance educational programs that teach the value of strong copyright and its vital role in fostering creative expression, driving economic growth, and enriching the lives of our citizens.
To protect the incentive to create by supporting effective civil and criminal enforcement of copyright laws domestically and internationally.
To defend the rights of creators to control their property, understanding the necessary balance of those rights with the public good.
To encourage the inclusion of copyright protections in bilateral, regional, and multilateral agreements to protect creators and foster global development.
To protect the rights of creators to express themselves freely under the principles established in the First Amendment, with copyright as an “engine of free expression.”
The Copyright Alliance is supported by an Academic Advisory Committee, and one of the Committee’s members was a participant in the panel discussion — James Gibson, University of Richmond Law Professor. Other panelists included Lamont Dozier, a Grammy-winning Motown songwriter; Steve Cropper, a Grammy-winning guitarist, songwriter, producer, and founding member of Booker T. and the MGs; Steve Siwek of Economics, Inc., an author of comprehensive economic studies of copyright; Tim O’Brien, a Grammy winning singer and songwriter; and Tom Paxton, another Grammy-winning folk singer-songwriter.
Members of the Copyright Alliance include: American Federation of Television & Radio Artists, American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers; American Society of Media Photographers; Association of American Publishers; Broadcast Music, Inc.; Business Software Alliance; CBS Corporation; Directors Guild of America; Entertainment Software Association; Magazine Publishers of America; Major League Baseball; Microsoft; Motion Picture Association of America; National Association of Broadcasters; National Collegiate Athletic Association; National Music Publishers’ Association; NBA Properties, Inc.; NBC Universal; News Corporation; Newspaper Association of America; Professional Photographers of America; Recording Artists’ Coalition; Recording Industry Association of America; Software & Information Industry Association; Sony Pictures Entertainment; Time Warner; Viacom; Vin Di Bona Productions; and The Walt Disney Company.
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The Copyright Alliance is a non-profit, non-partisan educational organization dedicated to promoting the value of copyright as an agent for creativity, jobs and growth. For more information, please visit www.copyrightalliance.org.
Filed in: Industry Buzz