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A Copyright Alliance Thanksgiving

A Copyright Alliance Thanksgiving by Keith Kupferschmid

November 22, 2017

I have been at the Copyright Alliance for just over two years and, in the spirit of Thanksgiving, I thought I’d take a few minutes to take stock of ten things I am thankful for … and five things I am not so thankful for.

Ten things I’m thankful for:

1. The intelligent, hardworking and passionate Copyright Alliance staff who come to work everyday with a smile in search of new ways to effectuate the mission of the Alliance;

2. The organizational members of the Copyright Alliance. Although they may disagree with one another from time to time, at the end of the day they are able to put aside their differences in order to make decisions on controversial and/or complex copyright issues that are in the best interest of copyright and creators. #UniteForCopyright;

3. The millions of creators whose interests the Copyright Alliance seeks to protect, and who – despite having to deal with people who don’t always respect their valuable contributions and a law that does not always adequately protect them – continue to toil away to create new copyrighted creations for the world to enjoy;

4. New platforms, like Patreon and HitRecord, and so many others that recognize that creators deserve to get paid for their hard work and creativity;

5. The Copyright Alliance Legal Advisory Board for their dedication and support of Alliance members by sharing their advice and assistance in filing a regular stream of amicus briefs on behalf of copyright and creativity;

6. House Judiciary Chairman Goodlatte and Ranking Member Conyers, and the long list of Congressmen and Congresswomen who supported HR. 1695, Register of Copyrights Selection and Accountability Act, (and companion bill S. 1010) when the bill was considered and passed in the House;

7. Reps. Jeffries, Marino, Collins, Smith, Chu and Lieu for introducing H.R. 3945, the CASE Act, a bill to protect America’s creators by creating a small claims tribunal;

8. The staff at the U.S. Copyright Office for supporting copyright and creativity everyday, despite the lack of modern and necessary tools for them to effectively and efficiently do their jobs;

9. Books, music, magazines, photos, movies, software, sculptures, poems, video games, art, newspapers, and so many other creative works, and…

10. A copyright law that protects these works so that people like you and me can enjoy them.

And five things I’m not thankful for:

1. Internet giants who think it’s more important to protect their own interests than the millions of Americans who made them what they are today;

2. Pirates and piracy;

3. Those who value eyeballs (or ears) more than IP by taking others’ content without compensation and/or permission, or without paying the true value that a contribution demands;

4. Copyright snake oil salesmen who deceptively further their own business models by misleading the public into believing that creators’ interests and the public’s interest are not aligned, when in fact they are.

5. Google, for devaluing creators and creativity, for facilitating the seamless copying of full-size high-res images from their search engine, for copying 11,000 lines of Java under the guise of fair use, for refusing to pay struggling authors for copying their books to improve their commercial search engine, for supporting an ask-for-forgiveness-not-permission approach to copyright on YouTube, and for so much more that I can’t possibly list it all here.