The National Music Publishers Association and the Recording Industry Association of America, two of the most influential organizations across the U.S. music industry, are calling on the American Law Institute to reject its Restatement of copyright law, labeling it regressive and too extreme.
In a statement and letter to the ALI Council, the NMPA and RIAA argue that the Restatement reinterprets existing copyright law “in a manner that harms creators and walks back the great strides that have recently been made.” NMPA president and CEO David Israelite charges that the Restatement was penned by “extremist anti-copyright lawyers” and urges the council to vote no when it comes to the floor.
“We hope they will reject this sham attempt to undermine hard fought principles of understood law,” Israelite said. “This thinly-veiled attempt to subvert the law and undermine creators and must be stopped.”
The ALI is an independent organization that produces and publishes scholarly books, including “Restatements of the Law,” which are intended to guide judges by summarizing and clarifying court decisions in different states. Although the ALI has no formal legal authority, its Restatements are often used by lawyers and cited by judges — so much so that they play a significant role in shaping court decisions around the U.S.
An ALI-led reinterpretation of copyright law has been roundly rejected by the U.S. Copyright Office, the American Bar Association and the US Patent and Trademark Office. Writing for Billboard this week, lawyer and artists rights activist Dina LaPolt called the Restatement vote — so soon after the signing of the Music Modernization Act — a “backroom sneak attack.”
Read the NMPA/RIAA letter in full: