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Copyright Alliance Files Amicus Brief with U.S. Supreme Court on Cablevision Appeal

November 5, 2008 ALLIANCE FILES AMICUS BRIEF WITH U.S. SUPREME COURT ON CABLEVISION APPEAL WASHINGTON--The Copyright Alliance, a coalition representing a diverse range of artists and creative industries, today urged the U.S. Supreme Court to review a lower court decision that threatens to upend the market for creative works and undermine years of legal precedent. In an amicus curiae brief filed today, the Alliance asks the Court to review a Second Circuit ruling in the case of Cartoon Network v. CSC Holdings, Inc. “The Copyright Alliance has never before filed a brief in any court, but is impelled to do so in this case because the decision below could be so detrimental to the health of our copyright system…Although this case arose in the context of reproduction and public performance of audio-visual works by a cable systems operator, its potential impact across copyright industries is much broader,” the brief states. The case was originally brought by several audio-visual content creators against Cablevision Systems Corporation, which has developed a service in which the company uses automation to make numerous copies of copyrighted programming and re-transmits it to customers on demand without licensing that delivery from the copyright owners. A lower court found that the Cablevision service was a violation of copyright law, because it violated copyright owners’ reproduction and public performance rights by acting without authorization. However, the Second Circuit overturned this decision. Copyright Alliance Executive Director Patrick Ross said, “The premise of this case is very simple. The Second District’s ruling suggests one can circumvent copyright law by implementing an absurdly complex and woefully inefficient delivery system that would have made the late Rube Goldberg proud. If this decision stands, it could cause harm across the copyright industries. It runs counter to the very heart of copyright as an incentive system that has made America’s creative works the most vibrant and sought after in the world.” Publishers, photographers and software developers are among the creators who have spoken out in the case, pointing out that the precedent of the Second Circuit’s decision could undermine legitimate business models by encouraging services to design schemes that allow them to evade responsibility for the copying. David Trust, CEO of the Professional Photographers of America and an Alliance Board Member, said, “Simply put, the lower court’s decision gives Cablevision and other infringers a ‘get out of jail free card’ because they will no longer have to take responsibility for the actual infringement. Digital photographs already fall prey to infringement because so many consumers misunderstand U.S. copyright law. If the Second Circuit’s decision is allowed to stand, retailers’ liability for an infringement will be greatly reduced since any reproduction made would be initiated by the consumer.” The Copyright Alliance brief includes nearly all of the organization’s 46 institutional members. The Court could decide within the next several weeks whether to hear the case, but no later than June. ATTACHMENT: Brief is attached and can also be viewed at www.copyrightalliance.org ABOUT THE COPYRIGHT ALLIANCE The Copyright Alliance is a non-profit, non-partisan educational organization dedicated to the value of copyright as an agent for creativity, jobs and growth. For more information, please visit www.copyrightalliance.org. Members of the Copyright Alliance include: American Federation of Television & Radio Artists; American Intellectual Property Law Association; American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers; American Society of Media Photographers; Association of American Publishers; Association of Independent Music Publishers; AT&T; Attributor; Broadcast Music, Inc.; Business Software Alliance; CBS Corporation; Church Music Publishers Association; Directors Guild of America; Entertainment Software Association; Graphic Artists Guild; Imageline, Inc.; Imagery Alliance; Langley Productions; Magazine Publishers of America; Major League Baseball; Microsoft; Motion Picture Association of America; National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing (NASCAR); National Association of Broadcasters; National Collegiate Athletic Association; National Football League; National Music Publishers' Association; National Basketball Association Properties, Inc.; NBC Universal; Newspaper Association of America; News Corporation; Picture Archive Council of America; PPL and VPL; Professional Photographers of America; Professional School Photographers Association; Recording Industry Association of America; Reed Elsevier; SESAC; Software & Information Industry Association; Sony Pictures Entertainment; Time Warner; Universal Music Group; Viacom; Vin Di Bona Productions; The Walt Disney Company; Writers Guild of America, West. # # # FOR MORE INFORMATION: www.copyrightalliance.org CONTACT: Gayle Osterberg, 202/669-0689 -- Gayle Osterberg Partner 133 Public Affairs (202) 548-0133, office (202) 669-0689, mobile gayle@133publicaffairs.com

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