Press Releases

Chairman Nadler Statement for the Markup of H.R. 704, the Artistic Recognition for Talented Students (ARTS) Act

Washington, April 20, 2021

Washington, D.C. - Today, House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) delivered the following opening remarks, as prepared, during the markup of H.R. 704, the Artistic Recognition for Talented Students (ARTS) Act: 

"H.R. 704, the 'Artistic Recognition for Talented Students Act' or the 'ARTS Act,' directs the Register of Copyrights to waive the application fee to register a copyright for students who have won the Congressional Art Competition or the Congressional App Challenge.

"I thank the Gentleman from New York, Mr. Jeffries, for his leadership in introducing this bipartisan, bicameral legislation along with Representative Nancy Mace and the Gentleman from California, Mr. Issa.

"Forty years ago, Congress sought to encourage the country’s youth to pursue their creative passions by establishing the Congressional Art Competition.  I, alongside many of us here today, host this District-wide competition, where high school students compete to have their artwork hang in the halls of Congress.

"In 2013, Congress recognized the need to promote more student interest and participation in the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics fields—known as 'STEM.'  In an almost-unanimous vote, the House established an academic STEM competition that led to the formation of the Congressional App Challenge.  In the App Challenge, middle and high school students show off their coding skills and compete against others in their District.

"Year after year, in both of these competitions, the talent our students display is remarkable.  Through both, we continue to see our youth encouraged to develop their artistic and technical talents, as Congress intended.

"The ARTS Act makes these competitions even more impactful.  Under the bill, students may apply to register a copyright for their winning artwork or winning app for free.  This introduces these students to the intellectual property system and the benefits of copyright protection.

"We on the Committee know just how important intellectual property rights are to our country and our economy.  Yet studies show that awareness of intellectual property is lacking among the country’s students, even if they pursue fields that are IP-intensive.  The ARTS Act helps close this awareness gap early on and allows these students to participate in the intellectual property system without a financial burden.

"Under current law, the Register of Copyrights cannot waive these fees on her own.   The ARTS Act amends the Copyright Act to allow such a fee waiver for these specific circumstances.

"I again applaud Mr. Jeffries for bringing this important legislation, which will aid the next generation of creators and innovators.

"I urge my colleagues to support H.R. 704."