A Message for the Candidates. Signed, the Creative Community.

Voters across the country will soon elect the 45th President of the United States, but they aren’t waiting until election day to let their voices be heard. Instead, they’re speaking directly to the candidates.

Last week, the Copyright Alliance partnered with CreativeFuture to help amplify the voices of tens of thousands in the creative community by sending an Open Letter to 2016 Political Candidates. The letter was featured on change.org and sent directly to organizational constituents, and garnered more than 35,000 signatures. The signatures represented writers, producers, musicians, photographers, and other creators, as well as allies to the creative community who value art, and support a copyright system that rewards creativity.  The Open Letter sent a clear message to the candidates: copyright, creativity, and free expression go hand in hand.

The relationship between art and politics is a complex one. While politics is often characterized by its adversarial nature, art is universal; by design, it is meant to unite us despite our differences. It should come as no surprise, then, that copyright – like the art which it promotes – has the power to bring people together as well. In the letter, the creative community reminds the candidates that “[t]here is no ‘left’ or ‘right’ when it comes to respecting copyright.” This is not a new concept; every year democrat and republican leaders join forces to introduce and support important copyright legislation. But given the divisiveness in Congress these days, it bears reminding.

Regardless of where any of us stand on issues like healthcare, gun control, or taxes, each of us has a song that helped us through a tough time, a movie that inspired us, a book that changed the way we view the world, or a photograph that took our breath away. Ultimately, those are the very moments copyright seeks to inspire. When we recognize the role that copyright plays in creating those special moments, it’s easy to see why thousands joined the Copyright Alliance and CreativeFuture in urging the candidates to stand up for creativity by standing up for copyright.

photo credit: mbolina/iStock/thinkstock

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