Press Release

Senator Thom Tillis Receives AAP’s 2022 Award for Distinguished Public Service

Senator Thom Tillis Receives AAP’s 2022 Award for Distinguished Public Service

Today before more than 1,200 members and guests of the Association of American Publishers Senator Thom Tillis (R-NC), Ranking Member of the Senate Intellectual Property Subcommittee, received the AAP’s 2022 Award for Distinguished Public Service. The Award honors individuals who have made “outstanding contributions to the public good by advancing laws or policies that respect the value, creation and publication of original works of authorship.”

“Throughout his tenure as Chair and Ranking Member of the Senate Intellectual Property Subcommittee, Senator Tillis has been a steadfast supporter of the copyright framework that is foundational to an informed and inspired society,” commented Maria A. Pallante, President and CEO, Association of American Publishers. “He has elevated the discussion of copyright issues in important and meaningful ways because he understands that authors, artists, publishers, and producers are essential to the public interest and our modern global economy.”

In accepting the award Senator Tillis said, “Thank you to the Association of American Publishers for this award. I am proud to be an adamant champion for strong, reliable, and predictable intellectual property rights, especially when it comes to copyright and the publishing industry. As Ranking Member of the Senate Judiciary IP Subcommittee, I will continue to protect IP and fight copyright infringement as we work at home and abroad to protect your work.”

Among his many acts of leadership, Senator Tillis has led a year-long series of hearings on the Digital Millennium Copyright Act with an eye to demanding more accountability from websites that harbor infringing content. He introduced the SMART Copyright Act, a bill that would provide tools to better identify and prevent copyright infringement. He was instrumental in passing groundbreaking legislation to manage copyright small claims, and he championed and passed important legislation to modernize the penalties for unlawful streaming, a form of access that has become ubiquitous for all kinds of authorship, including music, film, videogames, and audiobooks.

AAP’s Annual Meeting

Senator Tillis accepted the award virtually during AAP’s yearly gathering of member companies and invited guests, which also featured leadership reports from Ms. Pallante and Chairman of the Board Michael Pietsch, CEO of Hachette Book Group; keynotes from historian and Pulitzer-prize winning author Anne Applebaum; actor, producer, and author Viola Davis; transformational policymaker and American Psychological Association CEO Dr. Arthur C. Evans; and Idina Menzel, singer and songwriter, and her sister Cara Mentzel, writer and teacher, who have authored a children’s book together. In addition, in video-taped remarks translated from Spanish, Raúl Figueroa Sarti accepted the International Freedom to Publish Award on behalf of Guatemalan publishing house F & G Editores for its courageous work in the face of government censorship and intimidation.

About Senator Tillis

Senator Tillis was first elected to represent North Carolina in 2014 and is currently serving in his second term after being re-elected in 2020. He is a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, Veterans’ Affairs Committee, Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Committee, and Judiciary Committee, where he serves as the Ranking Member of the Intellectual Property Subcommittee. Before serving in the Senate, he was Speaker of the House in the North Carolina General Assembly where he played an instrumental role in enacting job-creating policies, reforming North Carolina’s tax and regulatory codes, and incentivizing clean energy and the protection of national parks.

About AAP

AAP | The Association of American Publishers represents the leading book, journal, and education publishers in the United States on matters of law and policy, advocating for outcomes that incentivize the publication of creative expression, professional content, and learning solutions. As essential participants in local markets and the global economy, our members invest in and inspire the exchange of ideas, transforming the world we live in one word at a time. Find us online at or on Twitter and Instagram at @AmericanPublish.