Mike Bass of Stevens International has informed us that Congressman Andrews will be re-introducing the Military Toy Replica Act as both a stand-alone bill as well as attempting to have it included as a part of the 2008 NDAA (the Department of Defense’s annual authorizing bill). The 2007 list of House and Senate Armed Services Committee members are being posted shortly. Here is the House list (the Senate list will be forthcoming as soon as their web site is updated with the new members): http://armedservices.house.gov/list_of_members.shtml
It appears that the tactics of the licensors has lightened just a bit for now, but it is assumed they are simply waiting to see whether Congress loses interest in this issue. Therefore, our efforts need to continue, and Congressman Andrews remains committed to passing this legislation. Here is what needs to be done by our membership at this time in order to continue our quest to get this important piece of legislation passed:
From the list on the above web link, please call the Washington DC office(not your local office) of HASC members in your state. You can click on their names to obtain the contact information from the members own web site.
Ask for the aide in charge of military affairs. Explain to that person who you are and that you are calling to garner support for the Military Toy Replica Act when it is reintroduced shortly by Congressman Andrews(there is no new Bill number yet assigned to it).
Explain briefly what the Act is, in case they do not know, and also explain in dire terms why you need this legislation passed. Be sure to tell them that your business will suffer if it is NOT passed.
Get the name and extension of the person to whom you are speaking, and ask them to contact you (or ask when you can contact them again) to confirm that the legislator you called will support us on this.
Let it be known that they may contact the office of Congressman Rob Andrews(D-NJ) for additional information on this Act.
At the point your legislator has confirmed support, please be sure to let Mike Bass know so he may confer with Andrews' office on this. It is very important that Congressman Andrews knows who is with him in this effort.
Congressman Andrews' Bill would require the Department of Defense to include a provision in their contracts with all defense contractors prohibiting them from requiring licenses and fees from businesses that manufacture, distribute or sell models and model kits.
to see the letter written to Congress!
Now that both the House and the Senate have completed their work to vote on their own versions of the 2007 Defense Bill, the Bill goes to the "conference committee." The committee includes designated members of Congress, both Senators and members of the House, who will discuss both versions of the Defense Bill, decide what amendments stay and which do not, and then agree on a final bill to go to the President to sign. As you know, HR 4806 is in the House version, but not the Senate version. This does not mean HR4806 will not be included in the final Bill, it just means it needs to be brought up and discussed . This occurred during the week of July 24, 2006 and the first part of the Conference was chaired by Sen John Warner of Virginia, Chairman of the HAS C. In a surprising turn of events, Senator Warner related stories about the model train his father bought him which still sits on his office desk. He also advised that he was an avid model builder in his youth and that his experience with model hobbies played a large role in his decision to join the Navy.
Senator Warner agreed to discuss the issue further, and we are very grateful for his personal interest in HR 4806 and the scale model kit industry. In order to show our appreciation to Sen ator Warner , Congressman Andrews' office asks that anyone in the hobby industry located in Virginia call Warner's Washington office at (202) 224-2023, ask for the liaison in charge of military affairs, and voice support for HR4806. This will help ensure the continued interest of Sen ator Warner to retain HR 4806, The Military Toy Replica Act, in the 2007 Defense Bill. Hobby manufacturers, wholesale and retail distributors, and consumers alike, this is a CALL FOR ACTION! Contact your elected Congressional Representative without delay to urge them to support House Bil 4806, Military Toy Replica Act. Passage of this Bill will "prohibit defense contractors from requiring licenses of fees for use of military likenesses or designation." It will specifically provide exemptions for U.S.-based hobby and toy companies involved in the development, marketing, and sale of assembled or unassembled replicas of U.S. military hardware. Contact your reps at: www.house.govwww.senate.gov
For more than fifty years, military aircraft, ships, and vehicle design and designations have been in the public domain and free from licensing restraints as the actual subjects were contracted and fully funded by the U.S. Government on behalf of the U.S. citizenry.
Recently, major U.S. Defense contractors or their designated licensing agents have begun programs to appropriate these federally-assigned type designations (i.e. P-51, P-38, B-17, B-52), associated names (i.e. "Mustang", "Lightning", "Flying Fortress", "Stratofortress"), and likenesses into intellectual property for corporate gain through royalty income from readily-recognized names and likenesses.FAILURE to pass H. B. 4806 will have the following negative effects: 1.) Increase product costs at all levels of distribution
2.) Reduce access to a wide variety of available product as low-volume subjects will be deleted or eliminated as they will no longer be financially viable.
3.) Significantly increase new product development cycles and costs due to the unwarranted burden of new licensing requirements.
Protect your access to your national military heritage!! Protect your access to scale replicas of military aircraft, vessels, and vehicles that have been funded by the U.S. Government with taypayer dollars. Contact your elected Congressional Representative without delay and urge them to pass House Bill 4806!!!Do your part to stop this unwarranted misappropraition of our nation's military history!!
To read Congressman Robert Andrews (R-NJ1) article on the importance of this legislation, click here
and dowload this article. Mr. Robert Knotts, Legislative Director for Congressman Robert Andrews, 1st Congressional District of New Jersey, sent us yet another update today,1/24/07, that states the following;
"We re-introduced the Military Toy Replica Act yesterday. The new bill number is HR 607."
So basically, if you are going to take action, you must refer to this new bill number when contacting the offices!
This morning, Mike Bass sent me a new link of updated member names of the SASC , below!
Active Link, SASC