Photo Credit: seeminglee

Our Mission

Supporting a Pro-Innovation, Pro-Creator, Pro-Consumer Copyright Framework

We represent a cross-section of creators, advocates, thinkers, users and consumers. There has been no better time for creativity in history. Thanks to technological innovation, today there are more artists, publishers and authors creating more works on more platforms than ever before.

Our policy mission is focused on the following ideas:

The U.S. Constitution grants Congress the right to create copyright laws “to promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts.”​ The power of Congress to enact copyright regulation is limited under the U.S. Constitution. New proposals to reform copyright law and regulation should be viewed through the lens of whether they serve the purpose of promoting creativity.

A balanced copyright system benefits creators, users and innovators. We believe society must support both those who originate works and the rights of those who legally access, acquire and use them. Online platforms that enable creativity and free expression rely significantly on the rights granted by the U.S. Copyright Act. This includes fair use as provided by 17 U.S.C. § 107 and the Digital Millennium Copyright Act’s (DMCA) safe harbors. This balanced approach supports the online platforms that generate revenue streams for creators, small businesses, entrepreneurs, application developers, startups and large content producers. It also empowers the 16.9 million independent American new creators who earned a baseline of $6.8 billion in 2017 posting their music, art and other creative works online.

Free expression is a core American value. ​We support the Constitutional promise that all people should be able to express themselves freely and believe that such expression includes fair use of works created by others, as protected by the Copyright Act and the courts.

Fair use is a cornerstone of free speech, creativity and our economy that must be protected. As such, it has enabled important political, educational and cultural discourse to occur. Fair use is the reason why creative industries like movies, music, books and the internet have flourished. Without fair use, technology like search engines and smartphones wouldn’t exist. Industries that rely on fair use account for 16% of the U.S. economy and generate $5.6 trillion in annual revenue.

Safe harbors that ensure protections for the basic functionality of the internet are essential. The rapid development of the commercial internet is partially attributable to intermediary protections which provide online platforms with protection from liability on core internet functionality if they meet certain requirements. This provides the legal certainty needed to allow creators to invest time, money and talent to develop new services and innovate. When deciding to invest, venture capitalists have asserted that online safe harbors are more important than positive economic conditions.

A vibrant public domain is a core component of creativity and knowledge. Today’s artists and the artists of the future look to the public domain to continue the building block process that is the evolution of art and culture. The longer it takes for a work to get into the public domain, the harder it is for creativity and innovation to grow and flourish. Research has proven that the public domain actually enables the economy to grow the economy, and that longer copyright terms restrict the production of new works that build off those existing works.

From prominent U.S. tech companies to startups and individual creators, America leads the world in internet innovation and commerce. This booming economy relies on America’s carefully crafted laws including its innovation-oriented approach to copyright. The American copyright framework does not work without this balance. Exporting copyright enforcement without limitations and exceptions (such as fair use and safe harbors) creates an incomplete system, damages the U.S. economy and endangers free expression. Exporting balanced copyright policies to other countries is also tied to positive effects on innovation, creativity, and value added by foreign affiliates of U.S. firms.

Efforts to curb copyright infringement should be encouraged, but not at the expense of legitimate uses. Supporting balanced copyright does not mean we support the improper use of copyrighted works. Rather, we want to make sure that efforts to reduce infringement do not prevent legitimate uses, stifle new innovations or bring unnecessary harm to consumers.

Copyright litigation should not be used as a weapon. Too often, the threat of excessive statutory damages and litigation is used as a cudgel to threaten legitimate uses of a work. This has a profound chilling effect as, for many, self-expression or technological innovation is just not worth the risk of millions or billions of dollars in damages.

Owners should have user rights in what they purchase that should be respected. The appropriate balance is needed between the rights of the copyright holder in a work and the property rights of the purchaser of that work. As consumers transition to a world where content can be accessed from a variety of personal devices and technology becomes a part of an ever increasing array of products, it’s even more important than ever that consumers and businesses have the same capabilities and freedoms they have always enjoyed.

Simpler is better. We stand for a copyright system that is clear, simple, transparent and appropriately limited.