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Copyright Alliance Applauds Congressional Letter to ALI on Copyright Restatement Project

December 4, 2019

Washington, D.C. – In response to the December 3 letter sent to American Law Institute (ALI) Director Richard Revesz by Senator Thom Tillis (R-NC) and Representatives Ben Cline (R-VA), Ted Deutch (D-FL), Martha Roby (R-AL) and Harley Rouda (D-CA), Copyright Alliance CEO Keith Kupferschmid initiated the following statement:

“On December 3, a letter was sent to the American Law Institute’s Director Revesz by Senator Tillis and Representatives Cline, Deutch, Roby and Rouda, stating significant concerns regarding ALI’s Copyright Restatement Project. We at the Copyright Alliance echo the many concerns expressed, particularly the fact that federal copyright law – which is governed by the 1976 Copyright Act – is ill-suited to a Restatement because it is clearly articulated by Congress, and thank the Senator and Representatives for voicing their concerns.

“Today’s Copyright Act is the result of many years of discussions and compromises that have taken place in Congress and which are recorded in numerous Committee reports, testimonies and thousands of pages of Committee hearing transcripts. As stated clearly in the December 3 letter by the Senator and Representatives, ‘courts should rely upon statutory text and legislative history, not [on] Restatements that attempt to replace the statutory language and legislative history established by Congress with novel interpretation’. We could not agree more with this statement.

“The concerns voiced by the Senator and Representatives are not new or unique.  Similar concerns have been vigorously expressed by the Register of Copyrights – the principal advisor to Congress on national and international copyright matters – as well as by the U.S. Copyright Office; the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office; the American Bar Association’s IP Law Section; numerous academics and federal judges; and ALI advisors, liaisons and council members. If the ALI is to continue to move forward with this misguided project, it must address these and the many other significant and very real concerns that have been raised by the Senator and Representatives and many others who have spoken up.”

 

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