Press Release

Members of Congress Raise Important Concerns About ALI Copyright Restatement Project In New Letter

On December 3, 2019, Senator Thom Tillis (R-NC) and Representatives Ben Cline (R-VA), Ted Deutch (D-FL), Martha Roby (R-AL), and Harley Rouda (D-CA) sent a letter to the American Law Institute (ALI) expressing deep concerns with ALI’s Copyright Restatement Project and requesting responses to a series of questions about the project. Among other things, the legislators note that “any Restatement or other treatise relied on by the courts that attempts to diminish the importance of the statutory text or legislative history relating to that text would warrant concern. Courts should rely on statutory text and legislative history, not Restatements that attempt to replace the statutory language and legislative history established by Congress with novel interpretations.”

Following is the statement of Maria A. Pallante, AAP President and CEO, regarding the letter:

“We strongly commend Senator Tillis and Representatives Cline, Deutch, Roby, and Rouda for their powerful letter raising serious concerns about ALI’s Copyright Restatement Project. For more than 200 years U.S. copyright law has served as a crucial incentive to publishers, authors, composers, and countless other artists, enabling the creation and dissemination of works that improve our lives, enhance our culture, and drive an economic engine that delivers $1.3 trillion in annual value to U.S. GDP. The ALI’s attempt to reinterpret this critically important federal statute should be seen for what it is: a back door effort to circumvent the authority of Congress and undermine the copyright system that fuels our creative economy. Importantly, the letter amplifies concerns already raised by the U.S. Copyright Office, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, the American Bar Association IP Law Section, federal judges, prominent legal scholars, and a long list of industry groups and other organizations. We thank Senator Tillis and Representatives Cline, Roby, Deutch and Rouda for their strong leadership on this important issue.”