AFTRA Leaders to Discuss Impact of Digital Theft at Los Angeles Event

AFTRA Leaders to Discuss Impact of Digital Theft at Los Angeles Event

LOS ANGELES (Dec. 7, 2011) – The American Federation of Television and Radio Artists, AFL-CIO – a national union of more than 70,000 performers, recording artists and broadcast professionals – will be hosting an important panel discussion about digital theft, which costs the entertainment industry an estimated 300,000 jobs and $16 billion dollars annually.

The panel, “Protect Your Money, Ensure Your Future – AFTRA Addresses Digital Theft,” will be held Thursday, Dec. 8 at 7:00 p.m. in the AFTRA Frank Maxwell Boardroom at 5757 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles.

This panel will feature experts from AFTRA and the content protection community, including AFTRA National Executive Director Kim Roberts Hedgpeth (subject to availability); Dan Fotou, Creative America Campaign Organizer; and Lev Kubiak, Director of Immigration Customs Enforcement’s National Intellectual Property Rights Coordination Center. Actor and AFTRA National Board member Jason Priestley and producer/songwriter Michele Vice-Maslin will also be featured panelists. The evening’s discussion will be moderated by William Thomas, Local Executive Director of AFTRA Los Angeles. Notable guests in attendance include AFTRA National President Roberta Reardon.

“Digital copyright theft is one of the gravest threats to our members’ ability to earn a living that we have ever faced,” states Hedgpeth. “AFTRA represents more than 70,000 performers, a majority of them middle-class actors, and approximately 50 percent of their earnings are dependent on ‘downstream revenues,’ including residuals, DVD or download sales, video-on-demand, as well as sales to supplemental and foreign markets. For recording artists represented by AFTRA, this figure goes up to a staggering 90 percent. AFTRA is committed to protecting our members’ livelihood and working with our partners in the labor and entertainment industry to combat digital theft.”

“Protect Your Money, Ensure Your Future – AFTRA Addresses Digital Theft” will begin promptly at 7:00 p.m. AFTRA members interested in attending must RSVP to larsvp@aftra.com. Press inquiries may be directed to Christopher de Haan, AFTRA National Director of Communications at 323.634.8203.

About AFTRA
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, broadcasters, singers, dancers, announcers, hosts, comedians, disc jockeys and other performers across the media industries including television, radio, cable, sound recordings, music videos, commercials, audio books, 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.