Senator Alexander Supports Anti-Piracy Legislation

Posted on November 24, 2003

WASHINGTON  As a member of the Congressional Anti-Piracy Caucus, U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander has signed onto the Artists' Rights and Theft Prevention (ART) Act of 2003 to combat copyright piracy. This bill focuses on the piracy of music, movies, and other copyrighted material before copyright owners have had the opportunity to market their products. "It is bad enough when artists have to compete with piracy to get paid for their work, but it is even worse when copies of songs are being sold before artists even have a chance to release their work and recover their costs," Alexander said. "Intellectual property is particularly important to Tennessee, a center of the music industry: Nashville is the home of country music. Memphis is the home of the blues," Alexander said. "Nashville has one of the nation's largest concentrations of songwriters, performers and music publishers. Protecting their intellectual property rights means protecting thousands of jobs and maintaining an industry that brings joy to millions of fans in the U.S. and around the world." The bill, S. 1932, is sponsored by Sens. John Cornyn (R-TX) and Diane Feinstein (D-CA). It protects artists by:
  • Creating a federal law against the use of camcorders and other recording devices in movie theaters;
  • Strengthening both the criminal and civil provisions of the No Electronic Theft (NET) Act of 1997 by recognizing that illegal reproduction and distribution of copyrighted works that takes place before the work is officially released causes economic harm and triggers NET.
American intellectual property represents the largest single sector of the American economy, employing 4.3 million Americans. It has been estimated that software piracy alone cost the U.S. economy over 118,000 jobs and $5.7 billion in wage losses in the year 2000. Additionally, the International Planning and Research Corporation estimates that the government loses more than a billion dollars worth of revenue every year from intellectual property theft.