Meet the Artists Impacted by Content Theft

by Jessica Garcia 08/08/2011 14:51 (UTC-08:00) Pacific Time (US & Canada)

Kristina Betts is watching her earnings dry up.  Guy Forseth worked hard to write and produce songs only to see them stolen on a massive scale. 

“If you go out to your car and your window is busted, you look inside and it’s like, ‘Oh they grabbed my wallet, they grabbed my stereo out of the dash,’ it’s that same feeling that someone has reached in and taken something away from you, something that you worked hard to earn, in my case, something that I wrote and paid to record,” he said.

Kristina and Guy are just a few of the working men and women in America’s creative community whose lives – and livelihoods – are affected by internet content theft.

In this video, which comes to us courtesy of The Coalition Against Counterfeiting and Piracy at www.FightOnlineTheft.com, four artists share stories of their experiences with online theft.

“If internet piracy caused me to lose my contract because I didn’t sell enough books, then I would have a really hard time picking up another publisher,” said Tracy Deebs, published author. “This is my job, this is how I make my income, this is how I support my family.” 

For more information on the rogue websites that steal work like Kristina’s and Jeff’s and Tracy’s, and what you can do to stop them, visit us at www.mpaa.org/contentprotection/roguewebsites.org.

View here: http://www.youtube.com/user/FightOnlineTheft#p/u/0/ZjDomSOvys8 

National District Attorneys Association Supports PROTECT IP Act

by Cybele Daley 08/04/2011 09:56 (UTC-08:00) Pacific Time (US & Canada)

America’s law enforcement community continues to come out in force behind legislation to combat the threat to U.S. jobs and the health, safety and security of Americans posed by foreign “rogue” websites.  Yesterday, the National District Attorneys Association, the oldest and largest organization representing over 39,000 of America’s state and local prosecutors, sent a letter to the United State Senate urging them to address the counterfeiting and theft of U.S. products occurring on rogue sites by taking up and passing the PROTECT IP Act.  It sent a similar letter to the House.

“As the world’s oldest and largest professional organization representing criminal prosecutors, we appreciate the need for strong federal legislation to stop these rogue sites and protect American jobs,” NDAA wrote.

Local prosecutors are well-positioned to see the impact of intellectual property theft in their communities, whether it’s lost jobs or shuttered small businesses.  NDAA’s support for this legislation underscores its commitment to combat intellectual property theft and the other criminal enterprises it feeds.

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PROTECT IP Support Strengthens

by Jessica Garcia 08/04/2011 06:20 (UTC-08:00) Pacific Time (US & Canada)

We’re excited to see U.S. Senators Michael Bennet (D-CO), Benjamin Cardin (D-MD) and John McCain (R-AZ) become the latest Senators to add their names to the PROTECT IP Act, legislation that will help protect the jobs and livelihoods of over 2 million Americans whose jobs are supported by the film and television industry.

The motion picture and television industry is responsible for over 30,000 jobs in Colorado, 17,000 jobs in Maryland and 22,000 jobs in Arizona. Foreign rogue websites pose a threat to each one of these jobs by profiting from the sale of stolen content and draining our economy of billions of dollars annually. The PROTECT IP Act will help to deter, prevent and root out websites that harm thousands of honest workers.

The sponsor list for PROTECT IP continues to grow as the need to protect the jobs supported by creative industries becomes more apparent. We are now 28 Senators strong.

For more information about the PROTECT IP Act, visit our rogue websites page.

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Report from the Storefront Lines: Van Nuys Shop Frames the Movies

by Alex Swartsel 08/03/2011 08:37 (UTC-08:00) Pacific Time (US & Canada)

We talk a lot about the tens of thousands of small businesses all over the country that support film and television production – companies in all kinds of lines of work, from drycleaners to caterers, who count the motion picture industry as one of their many clients. 

Today, we got a closer look into one of those businesses, courtesy of the Los Angeles Times.  The Company Town blog has a fascinating story about the U-Frame-It custom framing shop on Sherman Way in Van Nuys, in business since 1988, and the enormous impact of the film industry on its longevity and success. 

Together with her five employees, owner Adriana Cruz has produced frames and cases for films and TV shows including The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, Spider-Man 3, CSI, True Blood, and Chicago Hope

“Catering to Hollywood has become an increasingly vital source of income to small business owners like Cruz, who have been buffeted by a deep recession and an anemic recovery that has kept ma[n]y consumers from buying discretionary items like picture frames,”  the Times wrote.

“If it wasn’t for the film and TV business, we would be in hot water,” Cruz told the Times – a whopping 75% of her annual revenues come from film production, and she says California’s film tax credit program has helped push her sales up 15% over last year.  The Times reported that even though U-Frame-It’s consumer retail business has fallen by half since 2008, its earnings from movie and TV productions have filled the gap.

It’s a nice reminder that in tough economic times, going to the movies doesn’t just lift our spirits – for many small businesses, it helps lift the bottom line.

Content Theft: The Clock is Ticking

by Jessica Garcia 08/03/2011 06:26 (UTC-08:00) Pacific Time (US & Canada)

Great movies can take anywhere from months to years to make.  They take the work of hundreds of people – in front of the camera and behind it, in editing rooms and at high-powered computer terminals, on big city streets and wide, empty deserts – shooting and putting together a film that will make millions of us cry, or laugh, or see our world differently.

Movies take enormous amounts of time and effort to make – and no time at all to steal.

You may not know that:

A few days after a U.S. film has been released in theaters anywhere in the world, an illegal copy is available on the Internet.*

Within two weeks of theatrical release, millions of copies of a major title have been downloaded.*

In 1 minute, on average, someone is able to locate an infringing film or TV show online.*

In 94 minutes, he or she can download a copy of that stolen movie.* 

Or in just 3 minutes, it’s ready to be streamed.*

The PROTECT IP Act is aimed at stopping foreign rogue websites that traffic in stolen films, TV shows and other American-made creative content. Because the over two million Americans whose jobs are supported by the movie and television business deserve better than to see their months or years of hard work stolen in mere minutes.
 
Want to help spread the word?  Use the links below to share this fact about content theft with your friends on Facebook or your followers on Twitter.  

*Source: Envisional, 2011

Pharmaceuticals Warn Consumers on the Dangers of Rogue Websites

by Jessica Garcia 08/02/2011 09:12 (UTC-08:00) Pacific Time (US & Canada)

The National Association of Boards of Pharmacy (NABP) has published alarming findings on the dangers of rogue websites. The new report, The Internet Drug Outlet Identification Program Progress Report for State and Federal Regulators: July 2011, found that out of 8,000 websites selling prescription drugs, 96% do not comply with United States pharmacy laws, facilitate prescription drug abuse and misuse, and provide an outlet for counterfeit medicines to enter the US drug supply. NABP has issued a public health alert in response to the report findings:

“The fake online pharmacy crisis has reached an epidemic level – they prey on prescription drug abusers and the most vulnerable members of society who rely on medicine every day for their health,” said NABP President Malcolm J. Broussard, RPh. “They offer easy access to potent medicines without a prescription and indiscriminately push dangerous counterfeit drugs. This problem poses a clear danger to Americans’ health and safety and weakens the essential relationships between pharmacists and patients. By issuing a public health alert, we are calling on pharmacists, physicians, and other health professionals to educate their patients about the growing public health threat posed by these illegal online enterprises.”

This report is a troubling reminder that rogue sites aren’t just illegal – too often, they are dangerous.  And as we saw in this video from FightOnlineTheft.com, counterfeit drugs purchased from rogue sites can even be fatal. 

From malware and identify theft to and counterfeit prescription medicines, rogue sites are clearly a serious threat to health and safety.  This is yet another reason why we need legislation like the PROTECT IP Act to protect the American people against those who threaten our safety for a profit.

 

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Federal judge grants injunction against Zediva

by Ben Sheffner 08/01/2011 18:29 (UTC-08:00) Pacific Time (US & Canada)

Stating that its “service threatens the development of a successful and lawful video-on-demand market,” federal Judge John F. Walter today granted the MPAA member studios' motion for a preliminary injunction against the operators of Zediva, an unlicensed video-on-demand service that the studios sued for copyright infringement in April 2011. The following is a statement by Dan Robbins, Senior Vice President and Associate General Counsel for the MPAA, in response to the ruling in Los Angeles:

“Judge Walter’s decision is a great victory for the more than two million American men and women whose livelihoods depend on a thriving film and television industry.  Judge Walter rejected Zediva’s argument that it was ‘renting’ movies to its users, and ruled, by contrast, that Zediva violated the studios’ exclusive rights to publicly perform their movies, such as through authorized video-on-demand services.

“Movie fans today have more on-demand options than ever for watching films at home, from iTunes to Netflix to Amazon to Vudu to Hulu to the VOD offerings from cable and satellite operators. All these legitimate companies have obtained licenses from the copyright owners. The court found Zediva’s service threatened the development of these lawful VOD and Internet-based services.”

Background: Zediva is an unlicensed video-on-demand service that streams movies over the Internet from its Silicon Valley data center. The MPAA’s six member studios sued WTV Systems, the parent company of Zediva, and Venkatesh Srinivasan, Zediva’s founder and CEO, on April 4, 2011, and filed their motion for a preliminary injunction on May 26. The studios’ lawsuit alleged that Zediva violated the studios’ exclusive right to publicly perform their movies under Section 106(4) of the Copyright Act. Following the issuance of the preliminary injunction, the case will now proceed toward a final resolution.

Here is the MPAA's set of FAQs on the case.


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