Copyright, Content & Congress

Maura KawaiRob H. AftP.J. KuyperAmelia Wang

Video’s leap from the big screen and the living room onto office computers and tablets has been speedy. In training, sales, and marketing, businesses have taken fast to film and video, typically by including scenes and full-length motion pictures and TV programs during company functions, online education, and elsewhere.

At last week’s Digital Hollywood in Los Angeles, a panel of experts explored the issues that bring “Copyright, Content & Congress” together. Earlier this year, U.S. Representative Judy Chu (representing California’s 27th District), co-founded the Creative Rights Caucus on Capitol Hill; as Amelia Wang, the congresswoman’s Chief of Staff, explained for CCC’s Chris Kenneally, copyright concerns have risen in recognition of the impact on the Golden State’s economy.

“Protecting creators’ rights is in the best interest of everyone. It’s of upmost importance. It drives American ingenuity and creates jobs,” Wang said. “The congresswoman also sees an opportunity to stress that individual creators are where innovation begins.”

When it comes to creativity, P.J. Kuyper, CEO of the Los Angeles-based Motion Picture Licensing Corporation (MPLC) reminded the audience that copyright is directly tied to their compensation as artists. “You have the right to control the duplication of your work.  You have the right to control the transmission or the retransmission of your work.  And you have the right to control the public exhibition,” said Kuyper. “Without those three rights, there is no way to make money on your creative work.  That means there is no home entertainment market. There’s no television market. There’s no streaming market. And there’s no cinema or theatrical market.”

Also joining the panel were Rob H. Aft, President of Compliance Consulting LLC, a Los Angeles-based media finance and distribution consultancy currently serving a variety of clients including banks, law firms, producers, distributors, directors and talent guilds in the U.S., Europe, Asia, Latin America and Africa; and Maura Kawai, Senior International Trade Specialist with the U.S. Department of Commerce’s export promotion arm, the U.S. Commercial Service, in Los Angeles West for the electronic media, IT and telecom, entertainment and education sectors.

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