Artist Rights Alliance

Oct 11, 2018

4 min read

ALI’s Tech Dystopia

It’s the year 2025.

Creators are suffering from lack of compensation and recognition, and there’s a widespread disregard for copyright laws, meaning little protection for creators’ work.

And Big Tech has finally taken over the world.


You’re probably wondering how we got here, so let’s go back a few years.


In 2014, the American Law Institute (ALI) announced a “Restatement of the Law, Copyright” effort designed to reflect the copyright law as it presently stands give guidance to courts, scholars, and legislatures.


The ALI was previously held in high regard, known for bringing together legal and academic professionals to summarize the law in various areas and considered to be the gold standard for unbiased legal clarity.

Judges, who are not (and can’t be expected to be) experts in all the complex areas of the law, refer to ALI Restatements to make their decisions. ALI Restatements of law shape the opinions and arguments of courts, lawyers, and the entire legal community.

But now, creators’ futures have been jeopardized, and the American Law Institute’s reputation is at risk. How you ask? Well…


The co-authors picked to write the Restatement made strong statements against copyright protections such as calling copyright “obsolete” and “a tool for censorship.”

And the leader of the effort Christopher Sprigman even wrote in an article:

“Copyright is a tax on learning. It is a tax on culture. It is a tax on speech. And this tax is more than an inconvenience. It is a barrier to those who cannot, or will not, pay it.”

Unbiased views, right?


They even go a step further to argue that the very thing that hurts creators — piracy — is a form of “promotion” and “spurs innovation.”

In their world, the threat of piracy has been overblown.


Now, everyone in the real world knows that piracy is theft and deprives artists of their hard-earned income.

Actually, it’s platforms like YouTube that benefit at the expense of creators when unlicensed content is shared on them, which brings us to our next point…


Usually, the ALI requires Reporters to be objective.

But this isn’t the case given that these Copyright Restatement Reporters have long histories of working for, taking money from, and defending platforms like Google and YouTube who strongly oppose copyright.

It’s one thing to share similar views and similar big tech lies, but these Reporters are participating in robbing creators of what’s rightfully theirs AND undermining the public’s trust.


So picture this:

Someone makes money from your music without licensing it. Awful, we know.

You head to court determined to stop them from using your work, but instead of following the law that says music must be licensed, the court goes with the Google rewrite.

You leave. Unpaid.


Unfortunately, this wouldn’t be the first time Google has used their money distort policy decisions, and it probably won’t be the last.

The dangers of these authors elevating tech platforms’ business needs over the public and creators’ interests can be seen in the headlines around us every day.

Is this surprising? No. Is this concerning? Yes.

Luckily for creators, it’s not the year 2025 yet. . .

There’s still time for us to fight against the destruction of copyright, loss of creativity, and a tech bro takeover.

Help avoid this dystopian future and protect creators from this dishonest Restatement that will devalue their work and the work of creators for decades to come.

Click here to tweet your support!