Unions, media companies, recording and software associations, and others have banded together to form The Copyright Alliance .
The group, which officially launched in Washington Thursday, wants to promote the benefits and importance of copyright in the face of the increasing ease of digital copying of movies, music and TV shows.
The alliance-- which includes Disney, NBC Universal, News Corp., Time Warner, and Viacom-- is headed by Patrick Ross. Ross had been a senior fellow at the free market think tank, The Progress and Freedom Foundation.
The 29-member alliance offered the following founding principles at a Capitol Hill press conference that had the blessing of a number of legislators, including House Judiciary Committee Chairman John Conyers (D-MI) and Courts and intellectual Property Subcommittee Chairman Hoard Berman (D-Calif.).
"By upholding and strengthening copyright law through the education and advocacy work of the Copyright Alliance," said Terrie Bjorklund, American Federation of Television and Radio Artists associate general counsel in announcing the union's participation, [our] members, including sound recording artists, broadcasters, and performers, will be enabled and empowered to create new works that enrich American culture and inform our citizens."
The alliance presented those legislators with the following founding principles:
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."