- URGE FULL SENATE TO PASS BILL -
LOS ANGELES (November 18, 2010) – American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (AFTRA), Directors Guild of America (DGA), International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees, Moving Picture Technicians, Artists and Allied Crafts of the United States, Its Territories and Canada (IATSE), and Screen Actors Guild (SAG) today released the following statement:
“Our four guilds and unions commend the Senate Judiciary Committee for unanimously reporting S.3804, the Combating Online Infringement and Counterfeits Act, and recommending the bill for consideration and passage by the full Senate. The bill, introduced by Chairman Patrick Leahy together with a bipartisan group of seventeen senators, will give U.S law enforcement agencies more effective tools to fight the foreign profiteers who threaten our member's livelihoods by trafficking in stolen content.
“Together, we represent more than 300,000 recording artists and film and television actors, directors and craftspeople working in the entertainment and media industries. There are many voices in this debate but we believe few have a more real stake in the outcome than our members. That is why protecting the films, television shows, sound recordings and other content made by our members and enjoyed by audiences around the world is all the more urgent given the monumental and unchecked growth of Internet theft in recent years. The forsaken jobs and looted revenues that are so casually disregarded by both the operators of rogue sites and those who seek to protect their illegal activity reflect real wages, residuals, benefits and opportunities lost to our members forever thanks to those who knowingly and purposely traffic in Internet theft.
“We believe today’s committee action is the first step in making it much more difficult for rogue site operators to run their sites with impunity. We will continue to wholeheartedly support efforts such as this legislation that protect our members’ unique and essential contributions to American culture.”
Screen Actors Guild is the nation's largest labor union representing working actors. Established in 1933, SAG has a rich history in the American labor movement, from standing up to studios to break long-term engagement contracts in the 1940s to fighting for artists' rights amid the digital revolution sweeping the entertainment industry in the 21st century. With 20 Branches nationwide, SAG represents more than 125,000 actors who work in film and digital motion pictures and television programs, commercials, video games, industrials, Internet and all new media formats. The Guild exists to enhance actors' working conditions, compensation and benefits and to be a powerful, unified voice on behalf of artists' rights. SAG is a proud affiliate of the AFL-CIO. Headquartered in Los Angeles, you can visit SAG online at SAG.org.
The American Federation of Television and Radio Artists, AFL-CIO, are the people who entertain and inform America. In 32 Locals across the country, AFTRA members work as actors, journalists, singers, dancers, announcers, hosts, comedians, disc jockeys, and other performers across the media industries including television, radio, cable, sound recordings, music videos, commercials, audiobooks, non-broadcast industrials, interactive games, the Internet and other digital media. The 70,000 professional performers, broadcasters, and recording artists of AFTRA are working together to protect and improve their jobs, lives, and communities in the 21st century. From new art forms to new technology, AFTRA members embrace change in their work and craft to enhance American culture and society. Visit AFTRA online at www.aftra.com.
The Directors Guild of America was founded in 1936 to protect the economic and creative rights of directors. Over the years its membership has expanded to include the directorial team - Unit Production Managers, Assistant Directors, Associate Directors, Stage Managers and Production Associates. Today, through the collective voice of more than 14,000 members, the Guild seeks to protect the rights of directorial teams, to contend for their creative freedom and strengthen their ability to develop meaningful and lifelong careers in film, tape and digital media.
The International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees, Moving Picture Technicians, Artists and Allied Crafts of the United States, Its Territories and Canada, AFL-CIO, CLC (IATSE) is one of the largest entertainment labor unions in the world and represents over 110,000 technicians, artisans and craftspeople employed in stagecraft, motion picture and television production, the trade show industry, and affiliated crafts throughout the United States, Its Territories and Canada. For background information on the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees: www.iatse-intl.org.
Christopher de Haan