LOS ANGELES (June 22, 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:
“As the Guilds and Unions representing more than 300,000 workers in the entertainment and media industries, we are very pleased that the Obama Administration, in today’s release of the Joint Strategic Plan on Intellectual Property Enforcement, underscored that intellectual property protection supports good jobs with high wages and strong benefits across all industries, especially in the highly creative industries in which our members work. The plan also clearly conveys the Administration’s recognition that strong enforcement of intellectual property rights promotes innovation and that intellectual property infringement undermines our country’s national and economic security.
“Internet theft is not a victimless crime as some would like policymakers to believe. It has a direct and very real impact on our members’ livelihoods, their pension and health plans, and their ability to work now and into the future. Internet theft has become a big money-making business that is, like other threats to cyber-security, a threat to the strength of this country and the well-being of its citizens.
“As the Administration recognizes and states explicitly in the plan, the Internet should not be used as a means to support criminal activity, and therefore all participants in the supply chain - not just content providers, but also ISPs, advertising brokers, payment processors and search engines - must play a role in stopping online theft.
“We also agree with the Administration that foreign websites that infringe upon US intellectual property rights are a large and growing problem, and especially complicated because they fall outside of U.S. jurisdiction. We believe that both foreign and U.S.-based sites pose a significant problem, and look forward to working with the Administration as it develops a coordinated and comprehensive plan to address this issue.
“We commend White House Intellectual Property Coordinator Victoria Espinel for developing the initial roadmap on how the U.S. government will protect one of its greatest resources – the intellectual property that comes from the creativity of American minds. We also value the clear vision and steadfast commitment of Vice President Joe Biden to shepherding this process from the start and to protecting hundreds of thousands of jobs across the country.
“Important as this report is, we recognize that a great deal of hard work lies ahead and that the implementation of these recommendations is the critical next step. We look forward to continuing a dialogue and working with the Obama Administration to this end.”
Christopher de Haan