Congressman Goodlatte Addresses Staff at World IP Day Event
Issue No. 455 - April 26, 2012

In a wonderful celebration of World Intellectual Property Day, Register of Copyrights Maria Pallante welcomed independent filmmakers and local songwriters and musicians at a gathering of Copyright Office staff and U.S. government colleagues at the Library of Congress. Congressman Bob Goodlatte, Chairman of the House Subcommittee on Intellectual Property, Competition, and the Internet, was the featured speaker.

In his remarks, Mr. Goodlatte thanked the Copyright Office for its efforts to support individual creators and said, "Throughout its history, the Copyright Office has provided invaluable assistance to congressional efforts to advance the interests of both authors and the public." In noting the importance of intellectual property rights as a "job-creating engine of our economy," he said, "America is the world leader in innovation and creativity precisely because of our Framers' foresight and our nation's strong intellectual property laws."

David Newhoff, a writer, director, and filmmaker, said copyright affects everything he does. He showed the audience scenes from his short film, Gone Elvis, a gripping narrative film depicting a single day in the life of a homeless Iraq war veteran. Newhoff noted that independent film producers, especially, depend on the protection copyright affords. "Piracy is all the more threatening to small projects, so I thank the Copyright Office and the Library of Congress for keeping copyright part of the public discussion."

Steven Poster, National President of the International Cinematographers Guild, talked about his creative process as well as the importance of antipiracy measures. Poster was nominated for an American Society of Cinematographers award for Someone to Watch Over Me, and was director of photography for the cult classic Donnie Darko. "Intellectual property protection is vital to my craft," he told the audience. "Your work makes a difference in our lives and in our hearts."

Jean Bayou, a songwriter-singer, entertained the audience, as did the reggae band Lucky Dub and singer-song writer David Kitchen, all award-winning artists from the Washington, DC area.

World Intellectual Property Day was established by the World Intellectual Property Organization and serves as an opportunity to celebrate the visionary innovation and creative expression fostered by the intellectual property system.

David Christopher
Chief, Information and Records Division
U.S. Copyright Office