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Congresswoman Karen Bass

Representing the 37th District of California

Intellectual Property

Los Angeles is home to a thriving entertainment industry that employs hundreds of thousands of Angelinos to help create the music, movies, and shows we love.  From composers to carpenters and caterers, the entertainment industry is a major job creator in our community.  These jobs are why we must ensure that the industry thrives and is fairly compensated for the entertainment it produces.  

Bass Priorities

  •  A free and open internet—The world wide web connects us to entertainment, our loved ones and communities, and a wealth of important information.  Given how essential the internet is to our daily lives, we should ensure that access to it is impartial, and reject restrictions on traffic to the online marketplace.
  • Copyrights—Intellectual property rights are designed to foster creativity by ensuring that creators control, and are compensated for, their works.  When people produce content we love, we pay them for it, and this encourages them to produce more and more of the entertainment we enjoy.  But when creators are not fairly paid for their works, or their creations are pirated, then their incentive to create is diminished.  We should ensure that creators are compensated and protected from copyright infringement. 
  • Patents—Los Angeles is home to many amazing, start-up tech companies that are all working on the next big breakthrough.  But many of these companies, as well as tech companies across the county, have fallen victim to a phenomenon called “patent trolling.” “Patent trolls” threaten to sue the companies based on a vague claim of patent infringement requiring the company to respond to the legal action.  Unable or unwilling to fund an expensive lawsuit, the  business will often settle out of court, but the practice has now become a cottage industry with tech companies being bombarded with threats of suits, often without merit.  We need to improve requirements for patentability, properly fund the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, and ensure that bad actors cannot make a profit by extorting American tech companies.
  • TPP—Not only do we enjoy U.S. entertainment here in the states, but the content we create here at home is exported all over the world.  In order for American creators to continue to enjoy success in the global marketplace, we must ensure that our trade partners value copyright protections and increase efforts against pirating.

Supported Legislation

  • "Tax Increase Prevention Act"—Promises tax credits on up to $15 million of a film or TV production to help keep entertainment jobs in the United States. 
  •  “Songwriter Equity Act”—Modernizes the music licensing system so that songwriters, composers, and publishers can better fight for compensation for the use of their music.
  • H.Res.630—Recognizes the benefits and importance of music making.

Public Comments

More on Intellectual Property

November 21, 2017 Press Release

“A dictatorship cannot flourish when knowledge is common and abundant.

"The Trump administration and Chairman Pai's plan to dismantle net neutrality regulations continues an insidious alliance with big businesses to spite consumers. Tiered deals to access the internet will perpetuate a preventative division of knowledge, especially against low income communities, which enables people like Trump to come to power.

March 22, 2017 Press Release

“The purpose of the meeting, which I think we made very clear, was to answer his question about what our community has to lose,” Rep. Bass said after the meeting. “It’s his budget, it’s his policy, it’s his rhetoric; all of these factors demonstrate what we stand to lose and in some cases, what we’ve already begun to lose in the first fifty days of his administration.”

March 22, 2017 Press Release

During the meeting, the CBC Members will provide the President with short- and long-term solutions he can act on during his presidency to advance the African-American community in the United States.   
 
“During the President’s campaign, he asked our community what we have to lose,” Rep. Bass said. “I think the Caucus is looking forward to answering this question and presenting options for the President to explore and hopefully implement.”
 

May 13, 2015 Press Release
Congresswoman Karen Bass (D-Calif.) released the following statement after the House Judiciary Committee subcommittee on Courts, Intellectual Property, and the Internet held its hearing "Stakeholder Perspectives On ICANN: The .sucks Domain and Essential Steps to Guarantee Trust and Accountability in the Internet’s Operation".
April 29, 2015 Press Release
Rep. Karen Bass released the following statement after the House Judiciary Committee held its hearing with Maria A. Pallante, Register of Copyrights and director of the United States Copyright Office.