This week, as a part of our efforts to increase diversity, equity, and inclusion in the copyright space, the Copyright Alliance launched a new program called the Initiative to Promote Diversity in Copyright (IPDC program). The first of many programs that we anticipate will come under the IPDC umbrella, this program specifically aims to support and encourage the participation of Black creators, Indigenous creators, and creators of color (BIPOC creators) in the copyright system.
While marginalized and underrepresented groups have made significant creative contributions in the United States, these groups have faced barriers to reaping the benefits of their contributions. Increasing diversity, equity, and inclusion means removing barriers to entry that have contributed to existing disparities and ensuring that our intellectual property system enables creators from marginalized and underrepresented backgrounds to meaningfully benefit from the fruits of their labor and to enforce their rights.
The Copyright Alliance is committed to advocating for laws and policies that bolster the strength of our copyright system and helping ensure that the system fosters diversity, equity, and inclusion. Education is a key component of that mission. Copyright empowers creators to turn their creative interests into full-time careers, protect the integrity of their work and ensure authentic representation, and exercise leverage to negotiate fair compensation—but only insofar as creators understand how to make their rights work for them.
Our newly launched IPDC program seeks to educate participants on the benefits of copyright registration and empower them to register their works going forward. The program is open to BIPOC creators who have registered no more than five works within the last five years.* Those applicants who meet the eligibility requirements will be paired with volunteers who will work with them to complete and submit their copyright registration applications at no cost to the creator. While registration is not required for copyright protection, it carries a number of benefits including the ability to enforce the copyright and help prove ownership of the work.
The IPDC program builds on themes addressed during our virtual Conversation on Diversity and Inclusion in Copyright—co-hosted with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Global Innovation Policy Center and Equality of Opportunity Initiative—and our Black in Copyright panel series—co-hosted with the Copyright Society and the Black Entertainment and Sports Lawyers Association. As the unified voice of the copyright community, we are thrilled to bring together volunteers and sponsors from across the copyright community to bring this program to life. The Platinum sponsors include the Motion Picture Association and Paramount. The Gold sponsors include BMI, the Music Publishers Association, the Recording Academy, RIAA, and SESAC. The Silver sponsors include BakerHostetler and the Church Music Publishers Association. A special thank you to each of the program sponsors and volunteers for making the IPDC program possible!
Do you know a creator who could benefit from participating in the IPDC program? Please pass this blog post along and point them to our IPDC program webpage to learn more.
If you aren’t already a member of the Copyright Alliance, you can join today by completing our Individual Creator Members membership form! Members gain access to monthly newsletters, educational webinars, and so much more — all for free!