Broad New Coalition Launched To Promote Creativity, Jobs, And Growth Through Copyright
Interview With Copyrigh Alliance Ex. Dir. Patrick Ross
The newly formed Copyright Alliance launches into being with support from House Judiciary Committee Chairman John Conyers (D-MI); Rep. Howard Berman (D-CA), chairman of the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Courts, the Internet and Intellectual Property; Rep. Howard Coble, ranking Republican on the Courts, Internet and Intellectual Property Subcommittee; as well as a broad array of member organizations and companies representing copyright owners, including music, movies, software, books, magazines, newspapers, photography, graphic art, and sports leagues. MusicDish Editor in Chief Anne Freeman conducted a brief e-interview with Copyright Alliance Executive Director Partick Ross in response to the press release, which follows this interview.
[MusicDish] When was the Copyright Alliance formally launched?
Patrick Ross We launched on May 17 at an event on Capitol Hill. We featured a panel of Grammy-winning songwriters and heard from Rep. Howard Berman (D-Cal.), the chairman of the House Judiciary Intellectual Property Subcommittee.
[MusicDish] Was there a particular event or series of events that prompted the member organizations to establish the Copyright Alliance?
Patrick Ross No one event prompted the founding, rather a growing sense within the creative community that a small group of academics and anti-copyright activists were having success with their misleading campaign against the rights of creators.
[MusicDish] How does the Copyright Alliance differ from other organizations that lobby about copyright issues?
Patrick Ross We are an umbrella organization. We have artists’ groups, guilds and unions working with companies and trade associations. We have music, movies, software, books, magazines, newspapers, photography, graphic art, sports leagues, you name it. Other groups can lobby on specific issues or legislation. We want to spread a larger educational message about how copyright promotes creativity, jobs and growth. While our members may compete in the market or on the Hill, we remind everyone we are united in our belief of copyright.
[MusicDish] What is the first order of business for the Copyright Alliance?
Patrick Ross We need to increase awareness of the Copyright Alliance, and through that spread our message about the benefits of copyright. In the short time since the launch, we’ve already seen a tremendous burst of attention, and scores of individuals have signed up to be a part of our effort.
[MusicDish] How does an organization become a member of the Copyright Alliance, and are memberships available for individuals?
Patrick Ross Organizations pay dues so we can continue to operate, and a cash-strapped artist group is going to pay far less than a corporation as a rule. Individuals can join as dues-paying members, but we encourage individuals to sign up for our free email alert service, and to send us feedback on what we can be doing to advance copyright and creators. The Copyright Alliance is a grassroots organization of creators, and that is what our email list is about.
[MusicDish] What can we expect from the Copyright Alliance for the balance of 2007?
Patrick Ross : We plan to hold public educational events on copyright, mostly in Washington, D.C., but we hope to travel to other parts of the country and meet with creators and with academics and their students. Our goal – win the hearts and minds of the general public on how copyright inspires creativity, and thus brings us the creative works we all value so much – will not be reached overnight, so we will remain vigilant.
[MusicDish] Thank you for this e-interview, Patrick. Any final thoughts?
Patrick Ross : Every single one of us is a consumer, and every one of us loves creative works. We need to be wary of those who say they speak for consumers, but instead speak for those who wish to deprive an artist of the rights to his or her creative works. Modern technology can encourage piracy and dilute an artist’s control, but it can also empower that artist to create new and interesting works and to find new and innovative ways to deliver those works to you and me in a way we can enjoy them and at a reasonable cost. Anyone who wishes to reduce a creator’s rights because of frustration over a device or a technology needs to allow the market to work. We want creators to continue to get paid, and we want them to continue to be motivated to create more works. Anything less will sell short our creative community, the most imaginative and productive in the world.
Contact The Copyright Alliance at:
The Copyright Alliance, Partick Ross, Executive Director, www.copyrightalliance.org
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Tue, 05/15/2007, Washington, D.C. (Thursday, May 17) - Leading Members of Congress today offered bipartisan encouragement to the newly launched Copyright Alliance, a non-profit, non-partisan educational organization dedicated to promoting the value of copyright as an agent for creativity, jobs and growth.
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.
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