The US creative community is coming together in a national effort to protect jobs and American creativity by fighting back against the online theft of TV shows and movies. Creative America, a grassroots coalition formed by labour unions, guilds, studios and networks, has unveiled a nationwide campaign to unite the more than two million Americans in all 50 states whose livelihoods are supported by the film and television industry and all those who value the work they create and believe that American jobs and creativity deserve to be protected.
According to the Coalition, websites offering stolen content generate approximately 146 million visits per day and 53 billion visits per year and well over 500,000 movies are illegally distributed each day worldwide.
“Since Creative America was launched, it has produced a growing community of people deeply concerned about the effects that content theft is having on American jobs and creativity,” said Mike Nugent, Executive Director of Creative America. “Once people understand the scope and enormity of this problem, they want to take action,” he asserted
The AFL-CIO, the Association of Talent Agents (ATA), the Copyright Alliance, Deluxe Entertainment Services Group Inc., FilmL.A., the National Association of Theatre Owners, the Producers Guild of America and the Stage Directors and Choreographers Society (SDC) have also joined in supporting Creative America’s effort to save American jobs, creativity and innovation.
“We welcome the support of these organisations as we embark on a massive outreach campaign along with our coalition partners to let everyone know that Creative America is here to give them the opportunity to express themselves and to make their voices heard – whether that means in Washington or in living rooms across the nation – whatever it takes to help the public understand that American creativity and innovation are worthy of being protected,” said Nugent.
As part of the concentrated effort, Creative America has launched a newly redesigned website, www.creativeamerica.org, where visitors can learn more about the impact of content theft on jobs, benefits and future work opportunities. They can also demonstrate support for the passage of important Congressional legislation such as the PROTECT IP Act in the Senate and similar legislation soon to be introduced in the House of Representatives.
The national campaign will include outreach to the creative community and the community at large through a wide variety of vehicles including: Facebook, Twitter, an online petition that has already gained more than 18,000 signatures in two weeks and a public service announcement to be broadcast nationally on NBC Universal television networks.
In addition, coalition partners are stepping up their own activities, including visits to sets across America from union representatives to encourage members to join Creative America, dedicated special events at studio lots and offices across the country, and specially created internal videos, newsletters and other communications designed to reach members and employees to raise awareness of the problem of content theft and of the role Creative America can play in giving them a voice in this issue.
Support for the organisation comes from a coalition of working people, creative people and business joining forces to protect the films and television shows they create against the ravages of digital theft. The coalition includes the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists, CBS Corporation, the Directors Guild of America, IATSE International, NBC Universal, the Screen Actors Guild, Sony Pictures Entertainment, Twentieth Century Fox, Viacom, The Walt Disney Company and Warner Bros. Entertainment.
“The message that Creative America is imparting to members of the entertainment community and all who value American creativity and innovation is that content theft is not a victimless crime,” declared Nugent. “And with Creative America, you do not have to stand by and be a victim. You can make your voice heard. You can fight back.”