Copyright Alliance Wants Administration To Promote Innovation, Protect Rights

Was in response to letter sent to White House from fair use supporters earlier in the month

Posted at 1:50 p.m. ET

TV and movie studios, publishers (indlucing B&C parent Reed Elsevier) and other copyright holders have written the president to argue that the administration does not need to choose between protecting IP and spurring innovation.

The letter came in response to one sent to the White House earlier this month by Public Knowledge, Consumer Electronics Association, the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) and more than a dozen other fair use fans asking that appointments to administration posts dealing with intellectual property--including at State and the U.S. Trade Representative--"reflect the diversity of stakeholders affected by IP policy."

That is because those groups, which are in a constant tug-of-war with studios over content protections, have complained that some of the administration's appointees to IP posts have "represented the recording industry or other industries that support overly broad IP protection," as EFF put it. Their letter was to make that point before the rest of the positions were filled.

The Copyright Alliance, in its letter Monday, said they agreed completely that appointees should promote innovation, but that enforcing copyrights and patents was integral to that because it protected the freedom both to create and be compensated for that creation.

"The authors of the April 2 letter would have you believe that you must choose between safeguarding IP protection on the one hand and promoting innovation on the other," the alliance told the president. "This supposed conflict is itself an invention, and we must avoid the false dichotomy that suggests that there is a conflict between the rights of authors and inventors and the need for innovation or creativity."

The letter comes on the eve of a daylong seminar in Washington at which content creators are releasing a study on the impact of TV and movies on the nation's economy.

Among the alliance members signing the letter Monday were various unions--the DGA, SAG, AFTRA, WGAW--and the companies they are often squaring off against at contract negotiation time, including Time Warner, Sony, Viacom, Disney, NBC U and News Corp.