Los Angeles (October 26, 2011) – American Federation of Musicians (AFM), 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), International Brotherhood of Teamsters (IBT), and Screen Actors Guild (SAG) today released the following statement:
“As the Guilds and Unions that represent more than 400,000 craftspeople, actors, technicians, directors, musicians, recording artists and others whose creativity is at the heart of the American entertainment industry, we applaud Congressman Lamar Smith (R-TX), Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, Ranking Member John Conyers (D-MI), and Congressmen Howard Berman (D-CA) and Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) along with several other Members of Congress, for introducing HR 3261, the Stop Online Piracy Act today.
“This legislation, a companion bill to the PROTECT IP Act currently in the Senate, will provide U.S. law enforcement agencies with the tools to protect American intellectual property, including the films, television shows and sound recordings created by our members, from foreign rogue websites that knowingly and deliberately engage in the illegal distribution of our content for profit.
“Left unchecked, these rogue websites threaten the vitality of the online marketplace by stealing the work of American innovators and undermining legitimate business. They profit by offering access to content that they had no role at all in creating or financing, and they threaten real jobs, not only for our members but for those with whom they collaborate on set and hundreds of thousands of others whose livelihoods are dependent on the economic health of our business. Without proactive measures like the STOP Online Piracy Act, rogues sites will continue to siphon away wages and benefits from members of the creative community, greatly compromising our industry’s ability to foster creativity, provide opportunities, and ensure good jobs.
“We thank Chairman Smith, Ranking Member Conyers, and Congressmen Berman and Goodlatte as well as the bill’s other cosponsors for recognizing through their action today that the works created by our members - the result of talent, creativity, collaboration and years of hard work – are not only valuable contributions to our culture but are worthy of being protected from rogue sites and the profiteers who operate them. We look forward to working with Chairman Smith, the cosponsors of the bill, and the members of the House Judiciary Committee to ensure that this important legislation moves forward.”
Click here to download a PDF of the release.