Major Players in the Entertainment Industry Show Support for New House Bill on Online PiracyPosted by William on Nov 2, 2011 in Art, Business Litigation, Business Transactions, Commercial Litigation, Commercial Transactions, Copyright, Entertainment, Film, Intellectual Property, Music, News, Sports, Television, Trademark | 0 comments
A House Bill entitled “The Stop Online Piracy Act” recently introduced by several congress members has found overwhelming support by major players in the entertainment industry. The new STOP Online Piracy Act would provide the federal government with broad and sweeping powers to essentially eliminate websites that host illegal content. The federal government will have the power to shut down these websites by preventing internet search engines from even serving the links to the illegal websites, payment companies from processing payments for the illegal websites, and advertising companies from providing ads for the illegal websites. Even internet service providers are allowed to voluntarily shut down illegal websites they believe are in violation of US Copyright laws. (This means no court order before the website is taken down).
Several groups have already issued statements supporting the STOP Online Piracy Act, which includes the American Federation of Musicians (AFM), the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (AFTRA), the Directors Guild of America (DGA), the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees, the Moving Picture Technicians, the Artists and Allied Crafts of the United States, Its Territories, and Canada (IATSE), the International Brotherhood of Teamsters (IBT), and the Screen Actors Guild (SAG).
In fact, the CEO and president of Viacom, which is an American media conglomerate dealing primarily in cinema and cable television and currently listed as the world’s fourth largest media company, showed his support for the bill in a recent statement: “[o]ur creative industries provide good jobs for millions of Americans and represent one of the country’s most important exports. However, we face an increasingly difficult battle against entities overseas that shamelessly steal our valuable products and illegally market them online for their own gain… [The bill] provides the Department of Justice and rights holders critical tools to ensure that the creative work of Americans across the country is protected from offshore internet parasites.”
In addition, the guilds recently issues the following in a joint statement: “[a]s 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 [this bill].”
There is big money at stake for many in the entertainment industry if online piracy is not curbed, but many critics are fast to point out some of the flaws which undoubtedly remind us that big brother is watching.