Press Release

ALEC Legal Center Files Brief to Court in Favor of Natural Property Rights 

Daniel Reynolds

ALEC Legal Center Files Brief to Court in Favor of Natural Property Rights 

Copyright dispute threatens millions of jobs, trillions in sales

ARLINGTON, VA – (February 19, 2020) Today, the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) files an amicus curiae brief with the U.S. Supreme Court in a copyright dispute case entitled Google LLC v. Oracle America, Inc. The central issues of the case are whether computer programs can be subject to copyright protection, and whether or not Google’s copying of Java would be “fair use” under copyright law. ALEC files this brief in support of respondent Oracle America, Inc., focusing on the private property roots of intellectual property (IP).

“Intellectual property is a vital US economic driver, and anything that threatens its rights and protections is a concern for state legislators,” said Jonathan Hauenschild, Director of Communications and Technology Task Force at ALEC and author of the brief. “State economies and state legislators need certainty from the Supreme Court and Congress because the IP-related economy means well-paying jobs, tens of billions in investment and trillions of dollars added to national and state economies.”

States like California, Texas and Pennsylvania have millions of jobs related to IP that stand threatened by this case:

  • California with over 7.5 million jobs related to IP
  • Texas with over 5 million jobs related to IP
  • Pennsylvania with over 2.5 million jobs related to IP

Follow this link to read the full ALEC brief.

“The founders rooted the Constitution’s Intellectual Property Clause in property rights,” said Hauenschild. “They recognized that intellectual labor can be valuable for the free markets and the economy. Because of this, they decided to promote the progress of science and the useful arts by granting authors and inventors ‘exclusive usage rights for a limited time.’”


The American Legislative Exchange Council is the largest nonpartisan, voluntary membership organization of state legislators in the United States. The Council is governed by state legislators who comprise the Board of Directors and is advised by the Private Enterprise Advisory Council, a group of private, foundation and think tank members. For more information about the American Legislative Exchange Council, please visit:


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