March 31, 2010
Dear President Obama:
On behalf of the 300,000 members of our Guild and unions that work in the film, television and music industries, we thank you for your remarks on the importance of protecting intellectual property made before the Export-Import Bank Annual Conference.
We wholeheartedly embrace your view that, "our single greatest asset is the innovation, ingenuity, and creativity of the American people. It's essential to our prosperity. But it's only a competitive advantage if our companies know that someone else can't just steal that idea and duplicate it with cheaper inputs and labor."
No group of people have a greater stake in this debate than our members. Highly skilled, our members embody the innovation, ingenuity and creativity that today makes the American film, television and music industries a global economic and cultural powerhouse. Without their talent and craftsmanship, quite simply, these works would not exist. Our members are also the American workers who are the first and most immediate “victims” of rampant copyright theft over the Internet—a threat which erodes their ability to earn a living, feed their families and the vitality of their pension and health plans.
We are concerned that this problem is worsening. Increased broadband speeds and penetration make it easier to steal creative works through illegal revenue-generating sites around the world.
Online copyright theft is our number one federal policy priority. Our concerns are shared by other U.S workers. Earlier this month, the Executive Council of the AFL-CIO issued a statement identifying Internet piracy as a threat to the jobs and incomes of working people that federal policy makers should address.
We applaud the Administration’s steadfast efforts to ensure that effective global intellectual property protection in the digital environment is contained in the Anti- Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA). We urge you to ensure that your entire Administration supports your remarks with aggressive policies to battle intellectual property theft and protect the quality jobs in our industry through international trade negotiations, aggressive law enforcement, and sensible broadband regulatory policies.
Thank you for your consideration and we look forward to working together to protect this valuable American industry.
Kim Roberts Hedgpeth National Executive Director American Federation of Television and Radio Artists
Matthew D. Loeb International President The International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employes
Jay D. Roth National Executive Director Directors Guild of America
David P. White National Executive Director Screen Actors Guild
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