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BMI Stars Help Spread Message of Copyright Awareness

Posted in News on February 20, 2006
The Copyright Society of the U.S.A. has once again partnered with MENC: The National Association for Music Education to present the 5th annual Copyright Awareness Week (CAW) March 6-10. Co-sponsored by BMI, the goal of this national event is to teach students the basic concepts of copyright and to encourage an understanding and respect for the rights of creative people provided by federal copyright law.

In addition to classroom sessions around the country, an array of stars will launch a radio PSA campaign in support of CAW that will air on some 2,000 radio stations. The glittering line-up of PSA celebrities includes such BMI artists and songwriters as John Legend, 3 Doors Down and the Ying Yang Twins, as well as "Baby Got Back" rapper Sir Mix-A-Lot. Additional BMI stars, including Deborah Allen, Gavin DeGraw, Martina McBride, Paul Overstreet and Leslie Satcher, will also participate in the CAW public service announcements.

Other special activities also are planned by The Copyright Society of the U.S.A. to "celebrate creativity" in the electronic age. The society is building on its successful 2005 activities by expanding programs to educate young people about the value of copyright protection to both creators and consumers.

In addition to MENC, this year features new teacher partners including the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards, the National Art Education Association and the National Council of Teachers of English. All teacher members of these organizations, as well as any other teachers who are interested in participating, are asked to teach students that copyright is important not just to the creators, but also to consumers who benefit from the diversity of music, films, games, software and other products that reach the market because copyright law makes it possible to earn a living as a creator.

"We hope that the CAW web site will become a focal point for teachers when it comes to education about copyright -- that's why we have been reaching out to many copyright industry trade groups to try to join forces in our efforts to educate students," said Monica Corton, chairperson of Copyright Awareness Week.

Other CAW 2006 sponsors include the Motion Picture Association of America, the American Intellectual Property Law Association, ASCAP, The Harry Fox Agency, Time-Warner, Inc, Bourne Co., Carlin America, EMI Music Publishing, peermusic and Shapiro Bernstein Music Publishers.

The U.S. Copyright Office, located in the Library of Congress, is also participating in Copyright Awareness Week. During that week, students may visit the Copyright Office and get an orientation on copyright both as users and creators. The orientation will include seeing the Copyright Office exhibit, a brief history and overview of current copyright issues and a mini-workshop on how to register claims to creative works. To arrange for a visit to the Copyright Office, contact Peter Vankevich, head of the Copyright Information Section, at 202-707-0600.