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, we are happy to join our entertainment community industry partners to announce a new initiative designed to build strong grassroots support for the fight against content theft. Creative America, a newly formed organization, will provide a gathering place for members of the creative community to learn more about the impact of content theft on their jobs, their benefits and their ability to continue making a living in the entertainment industry. Please click Creative America news to read today's announcement
With your help, Creative America will serve as a unified voice of the more than 2 million Americans in all 50 states whose jobs are supported by film and television, as well as people in other creative fields and anyone who believes that halting the looting of America’s creative works and protecting jobs must be a national priority.
As actors, we know that every time one of our performances is stolen, we lose out on the residuals we rely on to make a living. Global theft of movies and television shows has already cost the U.S. economy more than 140,000 jobs. Unfortunately, foreign websites, operated by thieves profiting off of stolen content, are highly sophisticated and designed to look legitimate. The appearance of legitimacy lures unsuspecting Americans into providing personal information, exposing them to identity and credit card theft. We believe that if more Americans were made aware of the facts, through education and legislative efforts, they would not choose to illegally download content.
Among its initial activities, Creative America will enable all of us to demonstrate our support for the passage of important congressional legislation that will significantly impact the fight against content theft, including the PROTECT IP Act, legislation designed to combat foreign trafficking in stolen movies, TV shows and other forms of intellectual property.
The PROTECT IP Act, now before the Senate, would authorize the U.S. Department of Justice to go after foreign websites that are dedicated to illegal distribution of stolen movies and TV – often called “rogue sites” – directed at U.S. consumers. The House of Representatives is also working on legislation to fight these rogue sites and halt sources of funds and other supportive services that keep them in operation. SAG will, of course, continue its own legislative work to help get these bills passed, but the coordinated and unified voice provided by Creative America will truly help demonstrate the widespread impact of content theft.
I love my craft. And I know that you do, as well. We can help put a stop to content theft (notice that we don’t call it piracy, because it’s not about swashbuckling, it’s about stealing). Sign-up begins now at CreativeAmerica.org. On the site, supporters can learn more about content theft and what it means for them, e-mail Congress, and get updates on pending legislation via e-mail or by following @CreativeAmerica on Twitter and through Facebook.
Click here to learn more about what your Guild is doing in the fight against content theft.
President, Screen Actors Guild
5757 Wilshire Boulevard, 7th Floor
Los Angeles, California