MUMBAI: An unprecedented cross-section of organizations representing millions of American workers are uniting behind the PROTECT IP Act on the eve of its scheduled vote before the US Senate Judiciary Committee. In 48 hours, almost 200 organizations have expressed their strong support for the bill.
A coalition comprised of 170 businesses, trade associations, and professional and labor unions called the PROTECT IP Act “a major step to make the Internet safer and protect consumers from the dangers of rogue sites in the online marketplace” in a letter sent today to every U.S. Senator.
In a second letter sent yesterday to Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy and Senator Orrin Hatch, six organizations representing artists, musicians, stagehands and other creative workers united to express their “unequivocal support for the PROTECT IP Act and S. 978, the Commercial Felony Streaming Act,” saying that “if digital theft is allowed to grow it will inevitably damage the confidence of producers and financiers in their investments, with one clear result: fewer creative works get made and the jobs for our members disappear, along with their pension and health funding.”
The organizations signing the letter included the American Federation of Musicians (AFM), American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (AFTRA), Directors Guild of America (DGA), International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees, Moving Picture Technicians, Artists and Allied Crafts of the United States, Its Territories and Canada (IATSE), Screen Actors Guild (SAG), and International Brotherhood of Teamsters (IBT).
In a third letter, The Independent Film & Television Alliance (IFTA), the Motion Picture Association of America, Inc. (MPAA) and its six member studios, the National Association of Theatre Owners (NATO) and Deluxe Entertainment Services Group thanked Chairman Leahy and Senator Hatch for making the fight against online theft a top legislative priority.
“Ensuring the availability of meaningful enforcement tools to combat such theft is critical to safeguard and promote the continued investment in the creativity and innovation that is the foundation of this uniquely American industry,” reads the letter.
“The PROTECT IP Act does just that. The broad range of supporters rallying behind the PROTECT IP Act underscores the crucial role intellectual property plays in the U.S. economy. Criminals who profit from trafficking stolen goods and content steal not only from the 2.4 million mostly middle-class workers who make up our industry; they also weaken one of the few American industries that consistently generates a positive balance of trade,” said MPAA executive vice president, government affairs Michael O’Leary.