September 29, 2010

Chairman Patrick J. Leahy
United States Senate
433 Russell Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510

Ranking Member Jeff Sessions
United States Senate
335 Russell Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510

Re: S. 3804, Combating Online Infringement and Counterfeits Act (COICA)

Dear Chairman Leahy and Ranking Member Sessions:

We are writing this letter to you with a two-fold purpose.  First, we want to thank you for the commitment and determination you have shown in crafting and introducing S. 3804, the “Combating Online Infringement and Counterfeits Act.”  Second, we want to assure you that we stand firmly with you – knowing full well the barrage of misinformation and fear tactics that will be cast against this legislation by those who seek an Internet in which everything is free to be stolen and there are no protections for consumers or creators at all.

We represent 300,000 creators, film talent and craftspeople who create a multitude of diverse films, television programs and sound recordings that are sought after by consumers around the world.  Our content is so sought after, in fact, that Internet profiteers are springing up all over the world – individuals and businesses solely dedicated to using the Internet to create money-making websites that steal from our members and put the American public at risk.   Rogue sites look legitimate, but make no mistake – these sites are illegal and they are trafficking in illegally-obtained content, with only one goal in mind – making money from films, television programs, and recordings that they had no role at all in creating or financing.

The opposition to this legislation will do all they can to confuse this reality.  They will protect illegal profiteers by cloaking them in respectability. They will call for studies and hearings, and raise specious concerns, with the hope that Congress will do nothing.   They will forgo protecting the American consumer from giving credit card and personal information to illegal entities in return for a lawless Internet.  They will turn a blind eye to the looting of one of the strongest American industries by profiteers who contribute nothing to our economy or our culture. And they – most of whom do not create jobs themselves – will be willing to sacrifice the jobs of our members and the thousands of others who depend on the entertainment industry to make a living.
We respect the rights of business and interest groups to raise thoughtful questions for open discussion and debate, but we must speak up when such groups organize campaigns dedicated to paralyzing the legislative process with half-truths and absurd misrepresentations of civic rights.  A fair and equitable balance of various interests and adequate protections against abuse is always the desired goal of public policy.  We know you and the other co-sponsors of this legislation have, in the crafting of this legislation, done just that and will continue to do so.  We look forward to working together with you toward the passage of S. 3804.

Click here to view the letter.



SAG Contact:
Pamela Greenwalt
(323) 440-2892

AFTRA Contact:
Christopher de Haan                                      
(323) 634-8203

DGA Contact:
Sahar Moridani
(310) 289-5333

IATSE Contact:
Katherine Orloff       
(212) 730-1770


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