Los Angeles (November 10, 2011) – Leading First Amendment expert Floyd Abrams sent a letter this week to House Judiciary Chairman Lamar Smith and Ranking Member John Conyers reaffirming that the Stop Online Piracy Act currently under consideration in the House of Representatives in no way imperils the First Amendment.
In the letter, Abrams writes:
Dear Screen Actors Guild Member,
As an actor, you know the harm that is caused when people steal your work. That’s why Screen Actors Guild has partnered with Creative America, a new grassroots organization that gives the members of the entertainment community a powerful, unified voice in the fight for stronger laws and policies to protect American jobs and creativity.
Screen Actors Guild National Director of Government Relations and Policy Nancy Fox spoke with Bloomberg news about the trend in many states of rolling back film incentives as budgets tighten.
Fox explained that withdrawing the tax breaks is a pennywise, pound-foolish approach.
“Nobody wins. What you’re doing is taking jobs away from people and tax revenue for the state,” Fox said. “It is a lose-lose proposition to cut these tax programs.”
Screen Actors Guild is extremely pleased to hear about today’s announcement of the new Copyright Alerts System Agreement between Internet Service Providers (ISPs) and entertainment companies. This landmark agreement will help Internet subscribers learn and understand when their Internet account is potentially being misused for digital content theft.
Screen Actors Guild is teaming up with AFTRA, DGA, IATSE and major studios and networks to launch the Creative America initiative to discourage content theft and educate the public about its harmful effects. President Ken Howard today sent a message announcing the launch to SAG members across the country and SAG staff received a video message from national executive director David White.
Please click here to see the Creative America news release sent out today.
As you know, Screen Actors Guild has been working hard to raise awareness about the detrimental impact of content theft. We have been meeting with legislators across the country, communicating with members, participating in panel discussions and helping to educate young people about this destructive practice. We are also working in coalition with our union partners at AFTRA, Directors Guild of America and IATSE, as well as the major studios and networks, on all of these efforts.
Today the World Intellectual Property Organization's (WIPO's) Standing Committee on Copyright and Related Rights (SCCR) adopted a recommendation to the WIPO General Assembly to reconvene a diplomatic conference on the Treaty for the Protection of Audiovisual Performances, which was suspended in 2000 after a deadlock was reached on several crucial issues. In making the recommendation, the SCCR also approved consensus language on the transfer of rights, the primary issue that had previously prevented the conclusion of a treaty.